Taliban attacks have increased over the last few days amid peace efforts by the government and Afghan politicians who have agreed on a 21-member negotiating team and are working on forming the High Reconciliation Council.
At the end of February there was a one-week nationwide reduction in violence during which there was a “significant” decrease in Taliban attacks, as some officials put it. But the attacks gradually increased.
Nangarhar, Ghazni, Herat, Helmand, Zabul, Kunduz, Kandahar, Samangan, Balkh, Sar-e-Pul, Jawzjan, Faryab, Baghlan, Badghis, Logar and Ghor have witnessed clashes between government forces and Taliban in last few days, according to officials who talked to TOLOnews.
“We will never let the Taliban achieve their goals through war,” acting Interior Affairs Minister Gen. Massoud Andarabi said. “They (the Taliban) will be defeated this year with the same tit-for-tat response as last year.”
On Saturday, March 28, Badakhshan’s Yumgan district fell to the Taliban, the first area to fall to the group this year and following the peace deal signed between the US and Taliban on February 28.
“The district governor’s compound and the center of the district have fallen and clashes between government forces and theTaliban are ongoing near the center,” said Abdullah Naji Nazari, a member of the Badakhshan provincial council.
Hamid Saifi, a commander in the Afghan Army’s 209 Shaheen Corps, said clashes are underway in nine northern and northeastern provinces. “Unfortunately, we have taken casualties (in these clashes),” he added.
“The demand of all Afghans is that violence should be reduced, talks are started and people witness a permanent ceasefire,” said Dawa Khan Minapal, a presidential spokesman.
This comes as a team from the Taliban is about to visit Afghanistan to facilitate the release of their prisoners. Sources said this process would start at the end of this month.