A team of Taliban fighters attempted to storm a major Afghan military base in Helmand Province on Friday.
The early morning assault by a large group of Taliban fighters, including some wearing suicide vests, breached the security perimeter of Camp Shorabak, home of the Afghan Army’s 25th Corps and a couple hundred U.S. Marine advisors from Task Force Southwest.
Although Coalition officials said the attack was repelled, it was clear that the base’s defenses on the Afghan side had been breached and a number of Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in the attack.
One of the suicide bombers detonated his explosives inside a dining facility. Officials said that 25 Afghan soldiers and nine Taliban fighters, including three suicide bombers, were killed during the fighting. No U.S. personnel were killed or wounded in the attack.
“This morning an ANDSF base [Afghan National Defense and Security Forces], Camp Shorabak in Helmand, was attacked by the Taliban,” said Army Lt. Ubon Mendie, a spokesman for Resolute Support. “The separate adjoining U.S. base has its own security perimeter, which never came under serious threat.”
A report from an Afghan politician indicated that the attackers may have fooled the base’s guards by using Afghan military uniforms and equipment to get inside the perimeter.
The Taliban has proven to be effective at attacking U.S. and Afghan bases and breaching their defenses, evidenced particularly by their successful 2012 attack on Camp Bastion, during which they destroyed six Marine Harrier jets and killed Lt. Col. Christopher Raible, the former commander of Marine Fighter Attack Squadron 211.