(WARDOOJ, Afghanistan) — The Taliban turned over the bodies of 16 Afghan soldiers killed in an attack on Sunday.
The firefight, which took place in the district of Wardooj, was among the deadliest attacks on Afghan National Army forces in recent years. The Taliban also handed over seven soldiers that were taken hostage after the attack.
Afghan forces are due to take over full control of security when NATO forces leave the country by the end of 2014.
The governor of the province of Badakhshan, Abdul Maroof Rasikh, told ABC that the soldiers were ambushed while reinforcing their positions. He said that the enemy also suffered casualties.
Rasikh also said that “security forces are planning to conduct a clearance operation very soon in the area.”
Wardooj was largely quiet and out of the reach of insurgent attacks until recently. The area offers cover for insurgents in the form of mountainous terrain.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Angela Dewan and Euan McKirdy, CNN
James Griffiths, CNN
Barbie Latza Nadeau, Tim Hume and Vasco Cotovio, CNN