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Zabul attack the deadliest incident after US-Taliban peace deal

AT News

KABUL: The Thursday attack on an army and police joint checkpoint in the southern province of Zabul in which more than 20 soldiers and police were killed, is considered the deadliest security incident since a peace deal was signed late February between the United States and Taliban that allows the US military’s gradual withdrawal from the war-hit country.

The parliament’s defense commission said Saturday that the attack explained a division among Taliban over the peace deal with the US, although the group has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

“This attack showed that Taliban are not united, with some of them remaining adherent to the peace agreement, while another part is continuing attacks. This means that all the Taliban are not adhered to bring peace. In the meantime, some other active groups are against the government,” said Mir Haidar Afzali, head of parliament’s defense commission.

Rahmatullah Yarmal, governor for Zabul province said that totally 24 soldiers and police were killed in the attack, but the ministry of defense reports of the death of 11 soldiers and six police, saying three officers had gone missing.

President Ashraf Ghani, condemned the attack that he said took place at a landmark period of time.

Ghani’s statement said that such attacks would jeopardize the peace opportunity.

Dawood Kalakani, a political analyst is not optimistic to peace efforts amid conflicts.

“When there is cease fire, peace talks will have no fruit as continued war hampers peace. The Untied States should increase pressures on Taliban to agree with a cease fire.”

The attack comes just two days after acting defense minister claimed that army turned to an offensive position.

Marwa Amini, spokeswoman at the ministry of interior, vowed that security forces would take the revenge for the attack.

Nobody has yet claimed responsibility for the attack. Taliban spokesman said they were investigating the attack.

Sediq Sediqqi, Spokesman for President Ghani, blamed the attack on the Taliban, saying the incident explained Taliban’s commitment to continue violence and stand against peace process.

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