The victims served on a 25-member patrol in southern Helmand province that was attacked late Saturday by militants driving four pickup trucks, said provincial Gov. Sher Mohammed Aghunzada. The remaining 15 soldiers escaped.
“The Taliban cut the heads off all the soldiers who were killed,” he said. Aghunzada said the dead soldiers’ bodies had been recovered.
The news comes a day after a purported Taliban spokesman, Mullah Latif Hakimi, claimed that the rebels had beheaded a U.S. Navy SEAL commando missing since June 28 in mountains in eastern Kunar province, also near the border with Pakistan.