Two rogue Afghan soldiers with suspected links to Taliban have killed at least a dozen of their comrades in a so-called insider attack in the northern province of Kunduz.
Local police chief, Aziz Kamawal, said on Tuesday that the assault was carried out after midnight on the outskirts of the provincial capital city of Kunduz.
“The two soldiers fled after killing 12 sleeping colleagues in the Zakhil Khoman area of Kunduz,” Kamawal said, adding, “We have launched an investigation into the incident.”
Mahmood Danish, the Kunduz governor’s spokesman, said the rogue pair prepared the way for Taliban militants to storm the checkpoint.
Danish, who gave a higher toll of 13, also said, “The police have launched a search operation to find the rogue soldiers.”
Afghan forces have suffered record casualties over the past few months. Figures show that about 5,000 local police officers and troops were killed in 2015, with an additional 15,000 wounded.
NATO, which ended its combat mission at the end of 2014 and now helps train and advise Afghan forces, has warned that the grim numbers are likely to increase this year.
Taliban lost its grip over Afghanistan in 2001 after the US-led invasion and has since retreated to rural areas, resorting to hit-and-run attacks on cities. Its major achievement came last year when it managed to briefly capture the city of Kunduz.