Violence has expanded to 28 out of 34 provinces in the country in the last 24 hours amidst constant delays in the start of direct peace negotiations between negotiating teams from the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
The Taliban attacked security outposts in the northern province of Kunduz on Thursday evening, killing at least one security force member and wounding three more, according to local officials.
“Intense fighting continues since last night between the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces and the Taliban,” said Rabbani Rabbani, member of Kunduz provincial council. “People are extremely distressed about violence.”
“They (Taliban) staged their offensive, but they faced strong resistance from the security forces. Eight enemy fighters were killed, two more wounded and their attack was repelled,” said Inamuddin Rahmani, a spokesman for Kunduz police.
The Defense Ministry said the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces have inflicted heavy casualties to the Taliban.
“The Taliban staged attacks on the checkpoints and bases of the government forces in 28 provinces over the past 24 hours, but the government forces repelled their attacks and inflicted heavy casualties to them,” Defense Ministry spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said.
Last month the Taliban launched a brazen attack on Lashkargah city, the center of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, leaving thousands of people homeless.
Provinces, where a fresh spate of violence reported, include Uruzgan, Badghis, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Paktia, Takhar, Jawzjan, Khost, Zabul, Sar-e-Pul, Ghazni, Ghor, Faryab, Farah, Kabul, Kapisa, Kunduz, Kandahar, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Nimroz, Herat and Helmand.
Afghans expressed their concerns over slow progress in the peace negotiations in Doha.
“They are not interested in peace. If they are really committed to peace, both sides should announce a ceasefire,” said Ahmad, a Kabul resident.
“Our elders went to Doha and some other areas to discuss peace, but their peace does not make any sense,” said a Kabul resident.
The United Nations in a report this week said that the level of violence has continued to remain high despite the peace efforts. UN report shows that 2,117 civilians were killed in conflicts and attacks in Afghanistan over the last nine months.
“Whenever there is a rise in casualties, it creates disappointment and mistrust among the people about achieving peace,” said Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Afghan ambassador to Geneva.