Militants raided a government building in eastern Afghanistan on Wednesday, July 11, officials said, setting off explosions in an ongoing attack, like reported by thedefensepost.com.
At least five people have been wounded in the attack in Jalalabad, Nangarhar provincial governor spokesperson Attaullah Khogyani told AFP, in the second assault in the city in as many days.
Security forces were battling to clear the militants from the compound, Khogyani said, but it was not clear how many gunmen were inside.
“I can confirm an armed attack on a branch of the education department,” Khogyani said.
“Two big explosions have been reported from the site so far.”
Jalalabad health director Najibullah Kamawal confirmed five wounded had been brought to hospital so far.
On Tuesday, a suicide attack in the same city killed at least 12 people and ignited a nearby petrol station, with witnesses describing screaming victims “swallowed” by flames.
The bomber was targeting Afghan security forces when he blew himself up. Ten civilians were among the dead.
Islamic State claimed that attack via its Amaq agency – the latest carried out by the extremists in restive Nangarhar province, which borders Pakistan.
Islamic State – Khorasan Province has claimed a series of high-casualty suicide bomb attacks in the province in recent weeks, as U.S. and Afghan forces continue offensive operations against the group.
While the Taliban is Afghanistan’s largest militant group, ISIS has a relatively small but potent presence, mainly in the north and east of the country.
Wednesday’s attack comes a day after President Ashraf Ghani flew to Brussels to attend a NATO summit where he will be hoping to get a greater commitment from members to the nearly 17-year conflict.
It also coincides with the start of a university entrance exam for more than 16,000 students in the city, but it was not clear if the two events were linked.
The attack comes exactly a month after militants raided the education department in Jalalabad.
In that incident a suicide bomber blew himself up at the entrance to the department, triggering a fierce battle between gunmen and security forces.
At least 10 people were wounded after terrified employees jumped out of the windows.
A recent ceasefire between Afghan security forces and the Taliban during the Islamic holiday Eid had raised hopes that an end to hostilities in the war-weary country was possible.
Since then, however, the Taliban has returned to the battlefield and ISIS, which was not involved in the truce, has continued to carry out deadly attacks.
ISIS’s capital in Afghanistan has been captured after a joint US-Afghan assault that left nearly 170 terrorists dead, like reported by dailymail.co.uk.
The operation in Deh Bala, on the border with Pakistan, began at the end of April and was largely complete in early June.
About 600 American Green Berets and three Afghan commando companies were involved, according to Military.com, with no casualties for the allies.
‘This was one of the main green zones that did two things. One, it provided money, finance, logistics to ISIS and we’ve taken that away from them,’ Lt. Col. Josh Thiel, from the U.S. First Special Forces Group, said.
‘Additionally, ISIS was using this as a site to prepare and move high-profile attacks on Kabul and Jalalabad.’
Officials said soldiers found booby traps and the bodies of two beheaded women as they cleared the area of terrorists.
The operation, involving three companies of Afghan commandos supported by U.S. air strikes and American Special Forces teams, began with troops arriving by helicopter and setting up an operations base near the village of Gargari, where the ISIS fighters were trying to establish a local capital.
Several days of heavy fighting ended in early June with 167 Islamic State fighters killed and large quantities of equipment captured.
The fight against ISIS and other militant groups including Al Qaeda is at the heart of the U.S. counterterrorism mission being conducted alongside the NATO-led Resolute Support operation that trains and advises Afghan security forces.
Intended to prevent Afghanistan being used as a base for future attacks against the United States, it is in large part fought against irregular forces in remote valleys on the far eastern edge of the country, an area crisscrossed by smuggling routes into the tribal areas of Pakistan.
Militants loyal to Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP), the movement’s local affiliate, first started appearing in Nangarhar around four years ago.
Since then, the movement has gained a reputation for brutality extreme even by the standards of the Afghan conflict, making a trademark of executions by beheading or explosion.
The fighters in Deh Bala, next to Achin district where the U.S. military dropped its largest non-nuclear bomb last year, were funding themselves by illegal logging and talc mining, as well as exploiting local villagers.
However, a clear link between fighters in places like Gargari, a mudbrick village down the road from Deh Bala’s district capital, and the militants behind a series of sophisticated suicide attacks in Kabul or Jalalabad is elusive.
‘The network is very fungible…,’ said Brigadier General John Brennan, Resolute Support commander in eastern Afghanistan.
‘I wouldn’t say the actual suicide bombers came from Deh Bala, but facilitation runs all along the border and part of it used to come through here.’
At least seven Taliban militants were killed during the operations in Bati Kot district of eastern Nangarhar province, the local officials said according to khaama.com.
The provincial government media office in a statement said the militants were killed during the operations in the past 24 hours.
The statement further added that the dead bodies of at least three militants were left in the area and some weapons and munitions were also captured.
In the meantime, another Taliban militant belonging to Qari Sajid group was arrested during a separate operation in Surkh Rod district.
According to the provincial government, the detained militant has been identified as Bashir Ahmad and two Pakistani sim cards, two mobile phones, a refugee card were also confiscated.
At least three more suspects identified as Ashraf, Anwar, and Samandar were arrested during a separate operation in Momand Dara district, the provincial government said, adding that the individuals were arrested on charges of having links with the Taliban group.
The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not commented regarding the report so far.
As many as 25 Daesh militants have been killed in Afghanistan’s eastern Nangarhar province, officials said according to 1tvnews.af.
The insurgents were killed during ground and air raids in Achin and Haska Mina districts, the provincial governor’s office said in a statement.
The deaths included also a judge and a commander of the group, who were killed along with 21 others in Bandar area of Achin district, the statement said.
The raid in Haska Mina involved a drone which killed two militants in Angor Qala area, according to the statement.
Meanwhile, local officials in Nangarhar said that 14 Daesh and five Taliban militants were arrested in operations by NDS forces in different parts of the province.
In a separate incident, three Taliban militants including commander were killed when bomb in a vehicle belonging to the commander exploded in Khogyani district of Nangarhar on Thursday, officials said.
A convoy of US forces came under suicide attack in Pul-i-Alam, the capital of central Logar province, an official said according to pajhwok.com.
Provincial police spokesman Shahpur Arab told Pajhwok Afghan News the attack took place in the Badkhab locality close to the Hamid Karzai School.
The vehicle in the convoy was partially damaged as a result of the attack, Arab said, adding he had no information about casualties.
Haseeb Stanikzai, the provincial council head, confirmed the assault, saying the US forces were on the way back to their base after conducting an operation in Mohammad Agha district.
He said five people including a women and children were killed in the attack. Stankizai had no information about US forces’ casualties.
Lt. Col. Martin O’ Donnell, spokesman for US forces in Afghanistan, acknowledged a mounted patrol in Logar was attacked by a vehicle-borne suicide bomber.
He said the attack caused no casualties; only minor damage was done to a vehicle. “We cannot confirm the casualties of Afghan officials, civilians, women and children.”
“If true, our thoughts go out to the families of the innocent, who continue to suffer needlessly from the Taliban‘s violence and their refusal to listen to the call of the Afghan people and take the courageous step towards long-lasting peace.”
The Taliban militants suffered casualties during the airstrikes targeting a gathering of the militants in northern Faryab province of Afghanistan, like reported by khaama.com.
The 209th Shaheen Corps of the Afghan Military in the North said the airstrikes were carried out in the vicinity of Khwaja Sabs Posh district.
A statement by the Shaheen Corps stated that a large number of Taliban militants had gathered in Khwaja Qashri area, apparently planning attacks.
The statement further added that the Afghan forces carried out at least five airstrikes targeting the gathering which left at least 15 militants dead.
The airstrikes were carried out at around 1:30 pm local time and as a result at least eight militants also sustained injuries, the Shaheen Corps added.
At least two vehicles and three motorycles belonging to Taliban militants were also destroyed during the airstrikes, Shaheen Corps said.
The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not commented regarding the report so far.
The latest airstrikes in Faryab have been carried out as the government is observing a ceasefire but the Afghan officials had earlier said any aggression by the militants would be responded accordingly.
At least seven security personnel and 21 Taliban militants have been killed during a clash in the Imam Sahib district of northeastern Kunduz province, officials said according to pajhwok.com.
The provincial police chief, Brig. Gen. Abdul Baqi Nuristani, told Pajhwok Afghan News the insurgents stormed security check-posts in the Charahi locality of the district late on Sunday night.
He said 21 rebels were killed and 12 others wounded in return fire from the security forces. The police chief had no information about causalities among the security forces.
On the other hand, Imam Sahib district’s administrative chief Mahboobullah Saeedi said around 40 Taliban militants suffered causalities during the overnight firefight.
Meanwhile, resident Aminullah urged the government to conduct a clearing operation against the militants in the district. Causalities were on the rise in clashes in the area, he added.
Four terrorists were killed in an anti-terror operation in the Dasht area near the provincial capital, like reported by tribune.com.pk.
Four security personnel were also injured during the operation and the exchange of fire between security forces and terrorists claimed the life of a child and injured a woman.
The operation was carried out after the Counter-Terrorism Department (CTD) received information regarding the presence of terrorists in a house in the Teera Meel area of Dasht.
According to security officials, two of the terrorists were involved in target killings of bureaucrats. A terrorist also blew himself up during the operation.
A large cache of arms and ammunition was recovered from the terrorists and a large contingent of security forces was called to the area.
Earlier, a personnel of the provincial Levies and two civilians were shot dead as the returned after offering Eid prayers in the Sariab road area of the provincial capital.
Seven Afghan National Army (ANA) soldiers and two Afghan Local Police (ALP) personnel have been killed during a clash in Dashti Archi district of northeastern Kunduz province, an official said according to pajhwok.com.
A security official, who wished to go unnamed, told Pajhwok Afghan News Taliban militants stormed security forces’ check-posts in Bazar area in the district late on Monday night.
He said seven ANA soldiers and two ALP members were killed and four ANA soldiers and many ALP men wounded during the nighttime firefight.
He added Taliban insurgents also seized some weapons and a Haumavee from Afghan forces and torched two security posts.
But Niamatullah Timori, the governor’s spokesman, said two ANA soldiers and as many ALP men were killed and four ANA soldiers and two ALP men wounded during the overnight attack.
He said Taliban militants had also suffered heavy causalities but he did not provide exact figures.
Akhtar Mohammad, a resident of the area, confirmed the firefight between security forces and Taliban militants and said the clash continued until Tuesday morning.
He said, “I personally have no information about casualties, but I saw a number of Taliban militants onboard on a Humvee vehicle and they possibly going somewhere for attack other Afghan forces.”
On the other hand, Taliban militants also confirmed the clash and the group spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed killing 19 ANA soldiers and 11 ALP personnel in Adisa locality of the district on Monday night.
He did not provide information about the Taliban causalities.