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Military Casualties Spike as Violence Intensifies

A few days after the U.S.-Taliban peace deal, violence has spiked across the country with belligerents killing 29 security personnel

AT News

KABUL: At least 29 security forces were killed on Wednesday amid deadly battles between the Taliban, government and coalition forces across the war-scarred Afghanistan. Taliban have resumed their campaign of terror after they abruptly ended a temporary partial truce on Monday, just two days after signing a deal with the United States that was meant to bring peace at last to Afghanistan.

At least 16 Afghan Army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on Imam Sahib District of Kunduz province. Another ten soldiers were taken hostage by the Taliban. Spokesperson of 217 Pamir Corps, AbdulHadi Jamal, said government forces and Taliban rebels engaged in a firefight Tuesday night after insurgents assailed security checkpoints in Imam Sahib District and outskirts of Kunduz province.

Afghan forces are said to have repelled a rebel attack in Kunduz province, according to police officials. “Three rebels were killed, four wounded and one detained after security forces thwarted a terrorist attack Taliban attack in Akbar Khan and Qulbras villages along the Kunduz-Takhar highway,” said the Ministry of Interior. Taliban’s military commission chief, Mawlawi Bashir, was also reported killed in the counterattacks.

There are reports of separate insurgent attacks in Zabul, Helmand, Uruzgan and Logar provinces with several police casualties.

In Uruzgan province, at least 6 police officers were killed in a Taliban attack in Trinkot, Uruzgan province, said Zargai Ebadi, a provincial governor spokesperson. He also said another eight officers were wounded and claimed that eight Taliban fighters were killed and four others were wounded in the clash, said Ebadi.

In the southern province of Helmand, two Afghan National Army soldiers were killed in a Taliban attack on their checkpoint in Washir district of on Tuesday night, Omar Zuwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor said on Wednesday.

In Zabul province, at least one police officer was killed in a Taliban attack, police officials in the province said, but they did not provide any further details about the incident.

In the northern province of Baghlan, security officials have said that the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on the checkpoint of local police near Pul-e-Khumri city, killing at least two members of the local police force, said officials. One police and two Taliban fighters were wounded in the attack, said the officials.

The Taliban announced earlier that their campaign of attacks against Afghan security forces would be resumed, but they would avoid foreign troops.

The United States and the Taliban signed the keenly-awaited pact on ending the war in 19-year Afghanistan in Doha on Saturday. The agreement was signed at Sheraton Hotel, where both sides negotiated the Afghan conundrum for nearly one and a half years. The United States and NATO would withdraw all troops in Afghanistan within 14 months if the Taliban upheld their commitments.

Prior to that partial truce, a daily streak of at least 70 insurgent attacks were waged by the Taliban. However, only 10 attacks were reported on Saturday and two on Sunday.

Before the deal was signed, the insurgents, and the U.S. and Afghan forces had minimized hostilities last week as they engaged in a week-long period of reduced violence which ended on Friday, with a peace agreement that ensued on Saturday.

The peace agreement with the Taliban is deemed as the harbinger of peace and the start of long-awaited talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The deal includes a 14-month deadline for withdrawal of all U.S. forces from Afghanistan, political settlement resulting from intra-Afghan dialogue, a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire, and guarantees to prevent the use of Afghan soil by any terrorist groups against the security of the US and its allies.

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