8 Security Force Members Killed in Balkh Clashes: Police

Eight security force members were killed and six more were wounded in an attack by the Taliban in Nahr-e-Shahi district in Balkh province on Saturday night, the provincial police said.

The police said that five Taliban were also killed and seven more were wounded in the fighting.

“The Taliban launched a big attack. Last night, the cloudy weather affected our air support. This caused the casualties,” Balkh police spokesman Adil Shah Adil said.

Some relatives of the soldiers claimed that the casualty rate is higher than that stated by local officials.

“The base was under siege. They did not have weapons. They fought with one Kalashnikov rifle until all were martyred. Even rockets. The police chief knows this,” said the brother of Adam Khan, an army officer who was killed in the attack.

“My brother has been martyred. Three people have been wounded. Other bodies are not available. Two of the 16 people were wounded, the others were killed. The reinforcements arrived at 7 am after the base fell (to the militants),” said Nematullah, a police officer in Balkh.

Those who were killed were between 22 and 48 years old, according to relatives.

Bashir Khanjar, 22, who was killed in the attack, was married a year ago.

“He went to the base two days ago,” said Abdul Shakoor, Bashir’s cousin.

“It is less than a week since my uncle was killed on the same base. It was his funeral the other day. Today, my second uncle was martyred along with 14 other people. Half of them have been burned and their bodies are not recognizable,” said Abdul Musawir, a Balkh resident.

This comes as seven security force members were killed in an attack by the Taliban in Chimtal district, Balkh province.