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Commandos assigned to 1st Special Operations Kandak clear a training compound during breaching training in Laghman province, Afghanistan, Feb. 13, 2018. Commandos can gain access to fortified positions via a variety of means organic to Commando squads and platoons. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Connor Mendez)

291 troops killed in deadliest week of Afghan war

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: More Afghan soldiers were killed and injured in Afghanistan in the past week than during any other week in the past two decades of the conflict, according to security authorities, an uptick in military deaths amid strenuous efforts for peace talks.

National Security Council on Monday said that past week was the deadliest in the 19 years of war, with 291 members of Afghanistan’s armed forces killed in Taliban attacks in 32 provinces.

Militants loyal to the Taliban rebel group carried out 422 terrorist attacks in the last week, in which 841 soldiers were martyred and wounded, said an NSC statement. “Nearly 291 security and defense forces embraced martyrdom and 550 were injured in militant attacks. More than 148 civilians were killed and wounded in the attacks,” it added.

This is as the Taliban promised to keep violence at a reduced level and to work for peace, it said, “despite the commitments and goodwill of Afghan government, Taliban kept shedding the blood of Afghans,”

The ongoing violence against our people is not acceptable for the government of Afghanistan and once again insisting that this situation must be ended soon and the real and effective activity should start for peace, said the NSC. It added that peace will be bogged down by delay and challenges without a reduction of violence.

This is as 42 civilians, including women and children, were killed and 105 others were wounded in the violence Taliban committed across 18 provinces in the past one week, the NSC Spokesman, Javid Faisal, said in a tweet on Sunday.

“Taliban has failed to deliver on promises of reducing violence against the Afghan people and working for peace,” it added.

As the country is nearing a crucial peace dialogue stage (Afghan intra-talks) with the Taliban militants still the government of Afghanistan is expressing concern over flare up of violence by the group against Afghan civilians and security forces in different parts of the country and continuously asked the Taliban group to reduce violence against Afghans. Earlier, NSC Spokesman Javid Faisal had accused the Taliban of misusing the three day ceasefire during Eid-al Fitr and pushing with their violent attacks. He had also said the Afghan security forces upheld the ceasefire agreement and preserved their defense position. But the Taliban did not reduce violence and continued with their orgiastic killing of Afghan civilians, he said. It is expected that the Afghan government the Taliban militant group will hold the preliminary stages of intra-Afghan peace talks in Qatar in the coming weeks.

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