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Taliban Using Night-Vision Devices Being Given to Afghan Forces

(Last Updated On: April 2, 2018)

The Taliban increasingly attacking security forces across Afghanistan using night-vision goggles and lasers which were being given to Afghan forces, The New York Times reported, citing U.S. military officials.

According to the newspaper, the devices allow the Taliban to maneuver on forces under the cover of darkness as they track the whirling blades of coalition helicopters, the infrared lasers on American rifles, or even the bedtime movements of local police officers.

One of the first batches of night-vision equipment for conventional units in southern Afghanistan, part of a monthslong pilot program, was sent to the embattled 215th Corps in Helmand Province in the spring of 2016.

Only 161 of the 210 devices were returned, according to the military documents obtained by The Times, and the equipment was not effectively used, in part because the forces were not properly trained to use it.

The Defense Ministry Deputy Spokesman, Mohamamd Radmanish told Ariana News that the night-vision devices which were owned by the Afghan security forces have been either damaged or expired.

With this new battlefield visibility, the Taliban more than doubled nighttime attacks from 2014 to 2017, according to the New York Times. The number of Afghans who were wounded or killed during nighttime attacks during that period nearly tripled.

The Interior Ministry Spokesman Najib Danish, however, said that the night-vision devices were being provided to the Taliban by the countries involved in the ongoing war in Afghanistan.

Some military analysts believe, corruption in the security institutions has been the main reason behind the issue.

“With no double, some traitors are in the security forces who provide or sell weapons and other military equipment to anti-government groups,” said a military expert Mohammad Agul Mujahid.

This comes as the Afghan army chief of staff has previously rejected the sale of Afghan military equipment to armed oppositions, and warned the culprits will not be left without prosecution.

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