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Suspected Taliban Assailants Kill 13 Afghan Soldiers

FILE - Afghan security forces prepare themselves during a battle with insurgents on the outskirts of Kunduz, Afghanistan, Aug. 21, 2016.

Suspected Taliban assailants have killed 13 soldiers in northern Afghanistan.

The overnight attack took place at a security outpost in the restive Kunduz province.

The victims were asleep when two fellow soldiers with suspected links to the Taliban massacred them, regional police commander, Sher Aziz Kamawal, told reporters on Tuesday.

Kunduz, Afghanistan
Kunduz, Afghanistan

He said the attackers involved in the so-called “insider attack” fled and joined the insurgents.

But a Taliban spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, claimed its fighters staged an overnight assault on the security post and overran it.

The security outpost is part of a defensive ring Afghan forces have established around the provincial capital in the face of repeated Taliban attempts to overrun the northern city.

Insider attacks are not uncommon in war-torn Afghanistan and scores of Afghan security personnel and their international partners have died in such incidents. Though officials say preventive measures in recent years have led to a significant reduction in the violence.

The Taliban briefly captured Kunduz a year ago, but days later Afghan forces retook its control with the support of American airpower. This was the first time the Islamist insurgency overran a provincial capital in the Afghan insurgency, now in its 15th year.