Taliban fighters in Takhar province, northern Afghanistan, launched a deadly attack on Afghan government forces early Thursday. According to Voice of America (VOA), the raid was executed by the Taliban’s commando team, dubbed “Red Unit,” which used night vision goggles to infiltrate several Afghan National Army (ANA) positions before assaulting the main base in the Khwaja Ghar district.
Conflicting reports about casualties place the number of ANA soldiers killed between 30 and 70. A spokesman for the ANA told reporters that they have suffered “heavy casualties,” according to Gulf News. The ANA reports that Taliban forces also suffered casualties, including the loss of several commanders, but did not provide a figure.
Taliban forces also captured ANA equipment and weapons during the assault. According to VOA, the Taliban commanders stated that they have “seized several tanks and armored vehicles,” although those claims have not been verified.
The main ANA base, known locally as “Pul-e-Momin” sits between Taliban-controlled districts in Kunduz province and Takhar province, near the Tajikistan border.
This attack is the third blow the Afghan government has suffered in as many days. However, the attacks on Tuesday and Wednesday were most likely carried out by ISIS, rather than the Taliban. In June, the Taliban and the Afghan government observed a three-day ceasefire during the Eid holiday, but have since resumed hostilities.