At least 12 Afghan soldiers die in 'insider attack'

Taliban claims responsibility for incident involving two colleagues assisting attackers in killing their comrades.

    The army outpost was among many forming a protective ring around Kunduz city [Nasir Wakif/Reuters]
    The army outpost was among many forming a protective ring around Kunduz city [Nasir Wakif/Reuters]

    At least 12 Afghan soldiers have been killed at a checkpoint in a Taliban attack that was facilitated by two of the victims' comrades in northern Kunduz province.

    Mahmood Danish, the Kunduz governor's spokesman, said on Tuesday the two soldiers helped the Taliban enter the base and then joined them in attacking their colleagues as they slept.

    The incident occurred on the outskirts of Kunduz city just after midnight on Monday, Aziz Kamawal, a senior local police commander, told AFP news agency.

    "The two soldiers fled after killing 12 sleeping colleagues in the Zazhil Khoman area of Kunduz," he said. 

    Danish said a manhunt was on for the "rogue" soldiers. 

    Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed responsibility for the attack. He said Taliban fighters overran the checkpoint, killing all the soldiers and seizing their weapons and ammunition.

    READ MORE - Afghanistan: Who controls what

    The outpost was among many forming a protective ring around Kunduz city, which was briefly captured by the Taliban a year ago - the first time the armed group seized a provincial capital since losing power in 2001 after the US-led invasion.

    In recent months, the Taliban have stepped up attacks across the country against Afghan security forces.

    Insider attacks have plagued both Afghan and international troops in the country, depleting morale and causing mistrust within security ranks.

    Authorities estimate about 5,000 Afghan police and troops were killed in 2015 - with an additional 15,000 wounded. 

    NATO, which helps to train and advise Afghan forces, warns the grim numbers are expected to increase this year.

    The impact of green-on-blue attacks on Afghan morale

    SOURCE: News Agencies


    Meet the deported nurse aiding asylum seekers at US-Mexico border

    Meet the deported nurse helping refugees at the border

    Francisco 'Panchito' Olachea drives a beat-up ambulance around Nogales, taking care of those trying to get to the US.

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    The rise of Pakistan's 'burger' generation

    How a homegrown burger joint pioneered a food revolution and decades later gave a young, politicised class its identity.

    'We will cut your throats': The anatomy of Greece's lynch mobs

    The brutality of Greece's racist lynch mobs

    With anti-migrant violence hitting a fever pitch, victims ask why Greek authorities have carried out so few arrests.