Taliban kill 20 Afghan soldiers, capture 8 in Kunar
The Afghan Taliban killed at least 20 Afghan soldiers and captured eight more after overrunning a military outpost in the Ghaziabad district in Kunar province today. The attack may have been aided by turncoat Afghan soldiers (that has not been confirmed). From Pajhwok Afghan News:
A group of Afghan and foreign insurgents mounted the attack on ANA's Sher Ghashi check-post in Tunk area. Governor Shujaul Mulk Jalala said 20 soldiers were killed and eight others kidnapped.
He added one of the missing soldiers had links with the Taliban. An investigation has been launched into the assault, the governor said, adding a cleanup operation was ongoing.
Ministry of Defence spokesman Gen. Zahir Azimi confirmed the assault, saying two soldiers were injured in a fierce clash that lasted until 8:00am. Many Afghan and foreign rebels were killed in the battle and their bodies were still lying at the site.
Azimi said an ANA battalion was targeted by a suicide attacker on its way to the site. But nobody was hurt in the attack, he explained.
Recall the conventional wisdom in many circles that if the US would just withdraw from the remote provinces of Kunar and Nuristan, the insurgency would burn out, as the US presence was the driving force for local hostility? We do. It is now safe to say that the idea is bankrupt, though the LWJ disputed the notion back in 2010. For more on that subject, see the following reports:
- US begins withdrawing forces from Kunar's Pech Valley
- Taliban 'have control of another district in eastern Afghanistan'
- Taliban govern openly in Nuristan
- Nuristan drawdown gives new life to Pakistani Taliban
- US withdrawal from Korengal Valley a 'Taliban propaganda coup'
- Why the Korengal Valley matters
- Why withdrawing from the Korengal was a bad idea