Taliban displays weapons seized during ambush on Afghan commandos

The Taliban displayed weapons that were seized during an ambush that killed dozens of Afghan commandos in the northwestern province of Badghis earlier this week. Additionally, the number of commandos who are reported to have been killed has risen to 35.

The video (above) was published on Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid’s Twitter account.

The weapons and gear displayed in the video are consistent with those issued to an elite Afghan National Army unit such as commandos and Special Forces. The video shows M4 and sniper rifles, machine guns, pistols, night vision devices, radios, and other equipment.

The Taliban ambushed the commando unit as it was conducting operations in Ab Kamari district in Badghis on July 15. The governor of Badghis initially said that 25 commandos were killed. The New York Times reported today that up to 35 commandos perished in the battle.

The current estimate is close to the Taliban’s official claim that 39 commandos were killed. The Taliban also said 16 commandos were captured, however there are no reports of unaccounted for Afghan troops. Afghanistan’s Ministry of Defense has been silent on the issue.

The Taliban frequently uses captured gear to disguise itself as Afghan security forces and infiltrate bases and other sensitive areas in order to conduct attacks.

The commandos are at the tip of the spear for the Afghan military’s fight against the Taliban. The loss of another commando company negatively impacts the Afghan military’s ability to stem the rising Taliban tide.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

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