At least two dozen Afghan security forces have been killed in an insider attack on their base in southern Afghanistan, according to AFP.
Several “infiltrators” opened fire on their comrades as they slept, Zabul governor Rahmatullah Yarmal said, in one of the deadliest attacks since the US signed a withdrawal deal with the Taliban last month.
The pre-dawn raid targeted joint police and army headquarters near Qalat, the provincial capital, long considered a Taliban stronghold. “In the attack, 14 Afghan army forces and 10 policemen were killed,” Zabul provincial council chief Ata Jan Haq Bayan said.
He added that four other Afghan security forces were missing. “The militants had connections with the Taliban insurgents,” Bayan said.
They fled in two military Humvee vehicles, along with a pickup truck, weapons and ammunition. Yarmal confirmed the toll to AFP.
The episode comes a day after Afghan Defence Minister Asadullah Khalid called on the Taliban to commit to a ceasefire as a way of checking the novel coronavirus, which critics fear is spreading unchecked through the poverty-stricken country.
Khalid also said Afghan forces should consider a more proactive “active defence” posture against the Taliban, who have renewed attacks across the country since signing a deal with the US on February 29.