The Taliban killed at least 20 Afghan policemen in an ambush in the remote northeastern province of Badakhshan this week.
The deadly ambush took place after Afghan officials announced the conclusion of an operation that supposedly cleared the area of the Taliban and resulted in the death of more than 50 Taliban fighters, the Long War Journal reported Friday
Both the head of the provincial council for Badakhshan and the district governor for Wardoj, where the military operation and the subsequent ambush took place, said that 23 Afghan policemen were killed, 21 were wounded, and as many as 24 are missing and thought to be held by the Taliban, according to news reports cited by the Journal.
The Taliban (who often exaggerate their accomplishments on the battlefield) claimed to have killed as many as 85 members of pro-government militias, soldiers and police forces during fighting Wednesday and Thursday. Additionally, the jihadist group said it had captured 26 Afghan security personnel on those days, the Journal reported.
Events on the battlefield were hotly debated on the pro-government side Thursday.
Afghan Interior Ministry spokesman Sediq Seddiqi denied that any policeman had been captured, while Wardoj District Gov. Dawlat Mohammad told the New York Times
that 16 members of the police force had been taken prisoner.
“The Taliban beheaded two of the captured government police, and they are threatening to behead all the others,” Mohammad said.
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