Afghan army soldiers stand guard in front of the army corps gate in Balkh province, Afghanistan, on April 21, 2017. At least eight military personnel and five attackers were killed and 11 people wounded after Taliban attacked an Afghan army's Corps in northern province of Balkh on Friday, the country's Defense Ministry confirmed. (Xinhua/Yaqoob Azorda)
MAZAR-I-SHARIF, Afghanistan, April 21 (Xinhua) -- At least eight military personnel and five attackers were killed and 11 people wounded after Taliban attacked an Afghan army's Corps in northern province of Balkh on Friday, the country's Defense Ministry confirmed.
The attack occurred in army's Corps 209 Shaheen on outskirts of provincial capital Mazar-i-Sharif city, roughly at 02:00 p.m. local time. The counter-attack ended at around 06:30 p.m. as five militants were killed following hours of gunfight inside the base.
"The counter-attack ended after five enemies were killed and one was arrested together with a suicide jacket," the ministry said in a statement, adding "the casualties of the army so far remained in eight martyred and 11 injured."
Unofficial sources put the number of killed and injured as high as 60, saying eight people were involved in the coordinated attack.
The attackers, disguised in army uniform, arrived in two army jeeps and made their way after passing through front gate.
"They fired one rocket and attacked a mosque where army personnel were offering Friday prayer in the base," according to the statement. A dining hall was also targeted by the militants inside the fortified compound in the relatively peaceful province.
The Taliban militant group claimed the attack.
Afghan security forces' casualties have risen recently as they struggle against a surge in attacks across the country.
The Taliban insurgency has been on the rampage since the beginning of 2015, as the Afghan security forces assumed full responsibilities of security from the U.S. and NATO troops.