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Afghanistan faces surge in violence from Taliban attacks

More than 60 troops reported dead in three days amid fears the country may slide into violent chaos once again after a lull in hostilities since mid-February

AT News

KABUL: Afghanistan is facing a spike in violence, with more than 60 deaths among security forces reported since Sunday as the Taliban militants have increased their terror attacks across the country. The intensity and scope of attacks have increased over past week.

Security officials in Takhar, Zabul, Badakhshan, Faryab, Baghlan, Daikundi, Jawzjan, Ghor and Farah have said that at least 60 security forces have been killed and 48 wounded in Taliban terrorist attacks in those regions.

Takhar, Zabul, Helmand, Faryab, Jawzjan and Farah provinces have seen an intense wave of fighting between government forces and Taliban guerillas. These regions are the worst hit. Reports suggest 13 deaths and 6 casualties in Takhar province, 10 deaths and 12 casualties in volatile Helmand province, 9 deaths and 7 casualties in Badakhshan and 9 deaths in Zabul province.

Zabul Governor Gul Islam Sayal said Tuesday that government forces and Taliban militants engaged in a fierce firefight in tumultuous district of Arghandab. Clashes left 6 soldiers killed there.

Security forces in Ghor, Herat, Badghis, Jawzjan, Daikundi and Helmand provinces are also reporting heavy casualties among Taliban guerillas. They claim 49 terrorists including notorious Taliban commanders were killed and 43 wounded in the fighting.

Officials say security forces have also repelled rebel ambushes. Jawzjan police chief Abdulwahid Wojdan has said several Taliban attacks had been thwarted in numerous districts of the province.

On Monday, at least 6 army soldiers were killed after Taliban insurgents stormed a security outpost in Arghandab district, Zabul. A defense ministry source said government forces repelled rebel assault and inflicted heavy toll on militants.

On Sunday, 32 security forces went missing and two military bases fell to Taliban militants after a coordinated attack in the Jurm district of northeastern Badakhshan province. Insurgents stormed the security bases and overran two military bases. Eight army soldiers and 24 police forces went missing in the wake of the attack.

In a terrorist attack on residence of acting police chief of Khwaja Ghar district, Takhar, at least 13 security forces were killed.

A security official said that 4 local police forces were also killed and five wounded on Sunday in a Taliban attack in Baghlan. Police spokesman Ahmad Jawed Basharat said the attack was repelled and 12 Taliban militants were killed in the counterassault.

Zabul province saw a spike in militant activities and attacks since two weeks. In an earlier terrorist attack, 17 army soldiers had been killed after militants stormed a security outpost in Zabul capital city.

The belligerent militants are waging a war of terrain and power again the government forces. Diplomacy seems just as much in tatters as the battlefield as a rift has launched peace negotiations into pandemonium. Perhaps, Kabul should not give benefit of the doubt to militants as the group keeps generating news demands.

This is as the Afghan government delayed a plan to free 100 Taliban prisoners from the country’s prisons, just a while after the Taliban rejected a government peace delegation as “inconclusive”. Spokesman to the National Security Council Jawed Faisal said that no prisoner release will be happening on March 31st, a date agreed upon for a phased inmate release.

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