- REUTERS/Nasir Wakif
- Taliban fighters wearing night-vision goggles killed eight Afghan police officers in their sleep early Monday.
- It’s the latest in a deadly wave of recent attacks carried out by the Taliban.
Taliban fighters wearing “sophisticated” night-vision goggles killed eight Afghan police officers on Monday, according to The New York Times.
The fighters hid in a cemetery near the village of Pule Regi and watched the police officers with the night-vision goggles. The officers were still in their beds when they were killed.
“The Taliban attacked the post and did not even give the police a chance to wake up and reach their weapons … the police were killed, still in their beds,” a village elder told the Times.
One officer was injured in the attack, but managed to escape, The Times reported. He’s currently been questioned, as officials suspect a Taliban mole could have helped plan the ambush.
Taliban fighters have increasingly used night-vision goggles since at least August 2016, according to The Washington Post. The goggles usually appear Russian-made, but the Taliban most likely acquired them through the black market in Pakistan, the Times reported.
The Taliban has also recently touted its “Special Forces Unit,” which reportedly operates in southern and western Afghanistan. Newly released photos of the special operators show them wearing new uniforms and chest rigs, and next to a captured Afghan Army HUMVEE.
In 2016, Afghan military officials also confirmed that a Taliban special forces unit called Red Group or Danger Group was deployed on the battlefield in 2015 and was using “advanced weaponry, including night vision scopes, 82mm rockets, heavy machine guns and US-made assault rifles.”
- The Long War Journal/Twitter
The most recent attack, however, took place in the western Farah Province, the Times reported, and therefore its unclear if it was carried out by so-called Taliban special operators.
A Taliban spokesman, Qari Yusuf Ahmadi, said that 13 Afghan police officers were killed in the Monday attack.
Ahmadi told the Times over the phone that “usually we are using laser weapons and night visions on night attacks, and we definitely used night visions and laser weapons for that attack as well.”
The Taliban attacks have not only increased lately, but they are even beginning to employ new tactics.
Last month, the Taliban filled a vehicle captured from Afghan security forces with explosives and drove it into a military base before detonating it, killing 43 soldiers.