Despite not officially announcing a spring fighting season, the Taliban has increased attacks in various regions of the country—including the strategic areas of Kandahar in the south, Balkh in the north, Herat in the west and Nangarhar in the east.
Meanwhile, military analysts attributed the surge in violence by the Taliban to the group's attempt to pressure the Afghan government, and to gain leverage in the peace process.
Statistics indicate that at least 16 security force members have been killed and 14 more wounded as a result of Taliban attacks in the past 24 hours.
Local officials in Herat said that last month all 15 districts in the province saw unprecedented violence. Shindand, Oba, Pashtun Zarghoon, Kashk, Gulran, Ghoryan and Chisht-e-Sharif districts all saw some of the fiercest battles during the past month, they said.
According to the local officials, during the first week of Ramadan, the Taliban launched 36 attacks on several parts of Herat province.
“A car bomb was discovered in Shindand, an explosion occurred in Zindajan, another car bomb was en route to a target in Gulran but they failed to detonate it,” said Sayed Wahid Qatali, the governor of Herat.
Balkh province, in northern Afghanistan, was once relatively calm but over the past month violence has drastically increased in the province.
Local officials in Balkh have said that the level of violence has significantly increased in Chamtal, Chaharbolak, Sholgara, Daulatabad, Kashanda, Charkant and Zari.
“Fierce fighting occurred between the two sides, casualties were inflicted on the opponent side, including casualties sustained by govt forces,” said Afzal Hadid, the head of the Balkh provincial council.
In the south, the situation continues to remain fragile as the Taliban continue to attack districts such as Panjwayi, Zhari, Arghandab and Arghisstan.
Recently the Afghan security forces launched a series of operations in Arghandab and Panjwayi to push back Taliban fighters.
“There is no work, they said 'come and fight jihad, there is war, let's occupy Kandahar,' this was their justification but Kandahar will not collapse,” said Sayed Jan Khakrezwal, the head of Kandahar's provincial council.
In the eastern province of Nangarhar attacks have occurred in Surkhrod, Sherzad and Achin districts.
“They often launch attacks on the security checkpoints; however, in response, their attacks are naturalized,” said Attaullah Khogyani, a spokesman for Nangarhar's governor.
“Peace negotiation is the job of our elders, but our responsibility is to suppress the criminals and the Taliban anywhere they try to appear, we have said this to the defense and security forces,” said acting Minister of Interior Hayatullah Hayat.
Recently sources said that eight police members were killed and three more were wounded in a Taliban attack on their outpost in Zibak district in the northeastern province of Badakhshan after midnight on Tuesday.
The Sarkohi area is located in the center of Zibak district, and sources said it fell to the Taliban after hours of clashes. However, the outpost was retaken by security forces, sources said.
According to sources, the Taliban has also suffered casualties in the attack.
The increase in violence comes amid stalled peace efforts and the announcement of the US forces' withdrawal from the country.
According to the Afghan security agencies, the rise in Taliban attacks is part of their spring offensive, but the Taliban have so far not officially announced their spring offensive.