Major Insider Attack Kills 25 Afghan Troops

Taliban infiltrator overrun, loot entire military base

At least 25 Afghan soldiers were killed on Saturday in Ghazni Province, in what officials are calling an insider attack by Taliban infiltrators. Reports suggest seven infiltrators were involved in the attack on a military base, though officials also suggested only one insider attacker was at the base initially.

The attack was carried out while the soldiers were sleeping in their base, and one infiltrator, who was on duty at the base, managed to kill virtually the entire unit. They then looted all the weapons and equipment at the base and went off to join the Taliban.

The Afghan Defense Ministry still insists only 9 soldiers were killed, while the provincial council offered the higher figure. The Taliban said they believed they’d killed as many as 32 people.

The Taliban has often used infiltrators to attack or loot checkpoints, but it is very rare for them to wipe out an entire military base and loot the entire place all at once. This is one of the largest insider attack losses the Afghan government has suffered in a long time.

The loss of bases to the Taliban is not only harmful to morale, but looted equipment is broadly how the Taliban continues to carry out its insurgency. It has left the two sides with largely the same US-provided arms, and 18+ years into the war, there are a lot of those arms floating around.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.