More than 30 members of Afghan security forces lost their lives in Taliban clashes in three provinces on Sunday evening, amid a surge in attacks by the group with the arrival of the new fighting season, which continues despite the signing of the US-Taliban deal in late February and international calls for peace.
The attacks were carried out in the northeastern province of Takhar, Uruzgan in the south, and Balkh in the north of the country.
In Takhar, the group attacked an outpost of public uprising forces in Khwaja Ghar district, killing 19 of them, Takhar governor’s spokesman Mohammad Jawad Hijri confirmed.
In Balkh, the Taliban attacked a government forces check post in Sholgara district, and nine security force members were killed, said multiple sources, including officials.
Another attack was carried out in Uruzgan province, and five policemen were killed.
The Taliban ramped up their attacks following a week of reduced violence in late February that led to the signing of a peace deal between the group and the United States. However, following the peace deal, attacks have greatly increased.
TOLOnews findings show that the group carried out over 2,160 attacks against government forces from March 6 to April 10.
However, the Taliban also claimed in a document that the Afghan and foreign forces conducted 50 attacks on the group following the signing of the deal.
“This is a result of the inattention of the leaders, which has resulted in people’s sons being killed,” said Mohamad Azam Afzali, member of the Takhar provincial council.
Sources said those killed in Takhar were members of the local army but the Takhar governor’s spokesman said they were public uprising forces.
“Nineteen members of the public uprising forces were martyred, and five others were wounded,” the spokesman said.
“In the mentioned attack, the Afghan forces pushed back the Taliban and two Taliban fighters were killed and two others were wounded,” said Zelgai Ebadi, a spokesman for the Uruzgan governor.
Badakhshan, Kunduz, Faryab, Takhar, Baghlan, Badghis, Uruzgan, Ghazni, Balkh and Logar provinces have witnessed heavy clashes in recent days.
“The Taliban has intensified their conflicts in Yaftal-e-Payeen district, and the roadways to Raghistan district are closed,” said Ahmad Bashir Samim, head of the Badakhshan provincial council.
The acting Interior Affairs Minister, Gen. Massoud Andarabi, said the Taliban is undermining the peace process with such attacks.
“If they respect the people of Afghanistan and humanitarian values, they should agree on a ceasefire,” he said. “But if they continue their attacks, the Afghan forces will defend the country with full power.”
“The special forces unit has given a tit-for-tat response to the Taliban in each area, but we call on the Taliban to quit the enmity with the people of Afghanistan,” said Gen. Farid Ahmadi, commander of the Afghan Army’s special operations corps.
Violence in the country was expected to lessen following the signing of the peace deal between the US and the Taliban, but, so far, the Taliban attacks have not stopped.