On Wednesday, a senior Afghan police commander, Saidullah Khan, and two Taliban fighters were killed in a battle in Afghanistan’s northern Balkh province, according to the country’s Interior Ministry. But what happened next revealed that commanders are in league with the Taliban — and that Afghan army units are even more effective in fighting against the Islamist group than the Taliban at times, reports Bloomberg.

According to officials, the Taliban then filmed the execution and posted the footage on social media, including on the militant group’s official Twitter account. Shortly afterward, 24 Afghan policemen — nine of them young men in their twenties — were kidnapped and then executed by the Taliban — reportedly after elders gave the order.

“Security forces still searching for eight other policemen who were killed,” said the Interior Ministry statement. The Taliban has not confirmed the link, but deputy spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid told reporters on Monday that “Loyalists have been told that they should fight, not just for their family or the safety of their women, but to fight and sacrifice,” reported The Independent.

Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani is already planning major changes in the country’s defense and security forces to account for the aggressive tactics of the Taliban. “The security forces are not more effective than the enemy, they lose their grip on the areas,” he told Western journalists in Kabul on Tuesday. “And we need to fix this, and this is our plan, we are preparing the plan now.”

Read the full story at Bloomberg.


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