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Taliban kill 10 Afghan soldiers in insider attack: officials

MAZAR SHARIF: Taliban militants who gained access to an Afghan army post through a collaborator killed 10 soldiers Tuesday, officials said, in the latest example of an “insider attack” on government forces.

Lutfollah Azizi, governor of the northern province of Jawzjan where the incident took place at around 2:00am, said 14 soldiers were stationed at the checkpoint, including one infiltrator who allowed the attackers to enter.

“After killing four soldiers using a hand grenade, the Taliban detained the others by tying their hands behind their backs. They then executed six more, while three managed to escape,” Azizi said.

The attack was confirmed by provincial police chief Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani.

Jawzjan province, which borders Turkmenistan, has largely been spared the worst of the violence from a bloody Taliban insurgency now in its 14th year.

But some of its districts, including Qush Tepah where the attack took place, have seen a rising Taliban presence.

The attack came as the Taliban’s new leader Mullah Mansour told the government it must cancel a security deal with the United States and expel all foreign troops if it wants peace.

Mullah Mansour made the demand in a message marking the Muslim festival of Eid-ul-Adha, his first such message since he formally took charge after the death of founder Mullah Omar was confirmed in July.

The Taliban, fighting a bloody insurgency since a US-led invasion ousted them from power in 2001, have long said the departure of “occupying” foreign troops is a necessary condition for meaningful peace talks.

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