Taliban kills 22 Afghan soldiers trying to surrender: report
The Taliban killed 22 Afghan soldiers who were trying to surrender last month in an attack that was captured on video and corroborated by witnesses, according to CNN.
CNN reported Tuesday that the Taliban shot and killed 22 members of an Afghan Special Forces Unit on June 16 in the town of Dawlat Abad in Faryab Province, which is near Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan.
The Red Cross confirmed to CNN that the bodies of 22 commandos were retrieved.
In one video of the attack, a number of men are seen exiting a building, unarmed, yelling “surrender, commandos, surrender,” according to CNN.
Shots are then fired, followed by at least a dozen people being shot and people crying out “Allahu Akbar,” which translates to “God is Great.”
Witnesses told the network that the commandos’ stock of ammunition was empty, following a battle to hold the town, and they were surrounded by Taliban fighters.
The Taliban, however, told the network that the video showing the commandos being shot and killed was fake and government propaganda to persuade personnel not to surrender.
A spokesman for the group said they were still detaining 24 commandos who were apprehended in Faryab Province, but they did not provide any evidence to bolster the claim.
The Afghan Ministry of Defense, however, rejected the Taliban’s claim that it had the commandos in custody, concluding that they were killed, according to CNN.
The details of the deadly encounter between the Taliban and Afghan forces comes after President Biden announced that the U.S. military mission in Afghanistan will end on Aug. 31, ahead of his original deadline to pull all troops from the region.
Biden in April ordered a full withdrawal of the U.S. military from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, which marks the 20th anniversary of the terrorist attacks that sparked the U.S. invasion.
The U.S. withdrawal is leading to worries that the Taliban will retake control of the country.
According to the Long War Journal, which follows territorial control in Afghanistan, the Taliban controlled 212 districts in the region as of July 10, CNN reported. The outlet noted that 76 districts remain under the control of the government, and 119 are still contested.
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