New Taliban Tactic Is a Big Worry for US

Afghan security forces might not be able to deal with drone attacks
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 2, 2020 5:35 PM CST
New Taliban Tactic Is a Big Worry for US
Afghan security forces stand guard during a battle against Taliban fighters in Kunduz province north of Kabul last year.   (AP Photo/Bashir Khan Safi)

As US forces prepare to fully withdraw from Afghanistan, militants have used what officials believe is a new and potentially devastating tactic. An attack that killed four of the governor's security guards and injured at least eight others in Kunduz province Sunday night is believed to have been carried out with a drone, the New York Times reports. This is the first reported case of a Taliban attack involving a drone, though the militants use them for surveillance and authorities now suspect they may have been used in other cases previously thought to have been missiles, including a May attack on the Kunduz governor's mansion.

Authorities say there was an explosion while the guards were playing volleyball. Morale is already extremely low among Afghan security forces, who are often stationed at open-air outposts that are especially vulnerable to attacks from the sky, the Times notes, and use of hard-to-detect drones could give the Taliban the upper hand. There has been heavy fighting in Kunduz and other areas in recent months, though the Taliban has not carried out a large-scale attack on US forces since a Feb. 29 peace deal. The Taliban denied responsibility Monday for an attack that killed 19 people at the country's biggest university, reports CBS. (More Afghanistan stories.)

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