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‘Insider attack’ kills 23 Afghan soldiers sleeping, provincial council says

Dec. 14 (UPI) — An ‘insider attack’ at military base in eastern Afghanistan on Saturday, killed at least 23 soldiers as they slept, provincial council members said.

The attack at the Ghazni province base wiped out nearly the entire unit, officials said.

Head of provincial council Nasir Ahmad Faqiri said that 23 security personnel were killed.

“Seven local security personnel who obviously under patronage of the Taliban outfit opened fire on their colleagues on a checkpoint in Qarabagh district, where they were asleep, killing 23 on the spot and run away with their weapons,” Faqiri told Xinhua.

Similarly, a member of the provincial council, Esmatullah Jamuradwal, told The New York Times that 23 soldiers were killed in the attack, adding that only one soldier of the 24 in the Territorial Army unit had survived.

Other figures regarding the casualties were unclear. The Afghan Ministry of Defense has only confirmed nine soldiers died and the Taliban claimed 32 deaths.

A Ministry of Defense spokesman said officials started an investigation into the attack.

An attack by an infiltrator in the Territorial Army in the Qarabagh district of Ghazni also occurred back in July, which killed Col. Abdul Mobin Mohabati.

The government hopes to hold area it had retaken from the Taliban through the Territorial Army. The Territorial Army members are locals the regular Afghan army trains with less strict screening than the regular Afghan army.

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