Afghan soldiers trained by UK and US forces are 'now fighting for the Taliban' 2 months ago

Afghan soldiers trained by UK and US forces are 'now fighting for the Taliban'

The claim comes after an analysis of pictures of Taliban fighters

Afghan soldiers who were trained by British and US forces have reportedly defected and are now fighting for the Taliban, a newspaper story has claimed.

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According to reports on Wednesday, British army officers have analysed recent images of the Taliban using their weapons and believe some of the fighters are using techniques they learned from the UK and US as well as NATO countries.

US and UK-trained Afghan soldiers now fighting for the Taliban

A UK military source told The Times that they identified one Taliban fighter using a "straight finger" over a gun's trigger guard, something that suggested the fighter was trained by western forces.

Veteran Taliban members hold their AK47s "randomly", the source told the newspaper.

"This is the safety training we have," the source said, adding that if they displayed these techniques then we "know it's our guys".

There is no official confirmation that Afghan soldiers - that were overpowered when the Taliban seized control of Afghanistan over a number of days last month - had switched sides, but the source said it was likely they did so to save their lives after the wests' hasty withdrawal.

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"Everyone just flips sides. You flip sides so you know you won't get done in," the source said.

Another former military source who analysed recent images told the Times: 'The new Taliban 2.0, as they are being called, is using the finger discipline.

"An untrained force would normally hold the weapon randomly, but if your hand is behind the pistol grip and your finger is over the trigger guard, then you're not going to have a negligent discharge and no one else is going to fire it either."

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But a defence source disagreed with the claim and said they believed any "competent" force would teach their soldiers how to handle their weapons this way.

A Ministry of Defence spokesman said it has no evidence to support the claim.

Barbara Kelemen, an intelligence analyst at security intelligence firm Dragonfly, told the Daily Mail they had assessed "reasonable probability" some Afghan soldiers had defected and switched to the Taliban.

She said: "Among reasons that would prompt some soldiers to join the Taliban are their previous ties to the group, economic incentives and even personal or familial safety if they perceived defeat for government forces was likely."

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The claims come after the Taliban on Monday claimed victory in the Panjshir valley, the last province holding out against it. The Taliban took control of Kabul on August 15.