Dozens killed in large-scale Taliban attack in Takhar province

More than 50 Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) members were killed in an early morning attack by the Taliban in northern Takhar province.

Officials said security forces were attacked at the Government Operations Directorate in Baharak district and at the Takhar Police Command center.

Witnesses and relatives of the victims accused the local government and security officials of negligence, saying that the battle in the area of ​​Masjid Sefid started at 3 am and lasted until 7 am, but no help was sent in by the military.

Local officials have not however confirmed the number of casualties but hospital officials said 35 bodies were brought in and eight security force members hospitalized.

Local residents said that the Taliban first launched an attack in Baharak district and while ANDSF troops went in to contain the situation the insurgent group then attacked the police headquarters.

Security force members also lashed out at local government and said only four of 70 personnel in total escaped unharmed.

They said all soldiers, including local army, police special forces and police soldiers, were killed, wounded, or captured.

Relatives of the victims and residents of the local government of Takhar accuse officials of negligence and say that during the hours of fighting, no reinforcements or help of any sort was provided to the troops.

Abdul Qayyum Hairat, Director of Public Health of Takhar confirmed 35 bodies had been taken to the local hospital.

Local officials have however confirmed the deaths of more than 25 government forces, including Raz Mohammad Andish, a police security official and commander of a special police unit.

Abdullah Qarluq, Takhar’s Governor also confirmed the attack and said a Taliban Red Unit had carried out the assault.