Taliban attacks in Afghanistan’s north and south have killed at least 11 Afghan soldiers and policemen, the country’s Defense Ministry and a provincial official said Monday, like reported by gulftoday.ae.
The violence comes even as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani last week announced his 21-member team to negotiate peace with the Taliban, only to have his political opponent, Abdullah Abdullah, reject it as not inclusive enough.
According to the Defense Ministry, the insurgents targeted a military checkpoint in a multi-pronged attack in the district of Argandab in southern Zabul province on Sunday night, killing at least six troops. In northern Baghlan province, at least five members of the security forces were killed and six others were wounded when their checkpoint came under a Taliban attack on the outskirts of the provincial capital, Pulikhomri, said Mabobullah Ghafari, a provincial council member. That attack also took place on Sunday.
On Monday, a sticky bomb attached to vehicle detonated in the capital of Kabul, wounding at least four people, said Firdaus Faramraz, spokesman for the Kabul police chief.
Afghanistan’s political turmoil and the rivalry between Ghani and Andullah have impeded each step toward talks with the Taliban — negotiations that were supposed to come next under a peace deal that Washington signed with the insurgents last month.
The deal calls for the eventual withdrawal of all 13,000 US soldiers from Afghanistan in exchange for guarantees from the Taliban that they would fight other militant groups, including the Daesh group. The deal has been touted as Afghanistan’s best chance yet of ending its relentless wars.
But Ghani and Abdullah, who also declared himself president in a parallel inauguration ceremony earlier this month, have been locked in a power struggle that has prompted Washington to say it would cut $1 billion in assistance to Afghanistan if the two couldn’t “get their act together.”