Violence leaves 13 deads in northern Afghanistan

Fierce fightings between Taliban and Afghan police leaves 13 people dead from both sides as violence increases again in recent months

Photo by: AA
Photo by: AA

Updated Jul 28, 2015

Afghan authorities said that eight Taliban militants and five Afghan police officers were killed on late Saturday when the militants attacked on a police outpost in Afghanistan’s northern province of Samangan.

The provincial governor of Samangan province, Khairullah Anosh, told reporters on Sunday that they had pushed back the attack launched by a group of local and foreign Taliban fighters on a police station in the province.

“A group of insurgents ambushed Posta-e-Khaki outposts at 10 p.m. (18:30 GMT) which is located between provincial capital, Aybak and Darah Sof district,” Anosh said.

The governor stated that they killed eight Taliban members during the Saturday night clashes while nine other militants were wounded as the security forces pushed back the militants.

However, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid claimed that the police outpost had been captured by their fighters after six policemen were killed in the storm.

Afghanistan’s northern Samangan province started to be one of the targeted areas by the Taliban militancy with an increasing violence in the recent months.

Darah Sof district in the province attracts attention of both Taliban and local armed groups since it has rich coal mines which have been perceived as a source of income in the war-torn country.

According to regional governor Anosh, nearly one hundred  Taliban militants consisting of domestic Afghan members together with Arabs, Chechens, and Uzbeks have been flooding from neighbouring regions into the Samangan province in the recent months.

“Based on our intelligence reports, Taliban insurgents are gathered aiming to occupy the district, but our security forces are able to fight back,” Anosh said.

Taliban militants intensified their activities after the Afghan government signed a Bilateral Security Agreement with the United States, and later inked the same pact with NATO after the Alliance’s ISAF mission ended at the end of 2014.

The US pledged to keep an additional 1,000 soldiers in Afghanistan this year, bringing the number of its residual troops there to 10,800 in years to come.

The violence caused by the Taliban militancy has recently increased as the newly-established Afghan government led-by President Ashraf Ghani and Taliban militants started a peace talks process which is expected to be resumed throughout this summer.

In late April, the Taliban announced they started their “spring offensive,” taking advantage of Afghan security forces’ unprepared conditions after foreign forces had started withdrawing their missions in the country.

Afghan security forces said at least 26 people were killed in Afghanistan’s southern province of Kandahar in two separate attacks on last week that destroyed a six-member family.

Less than one day the Kandahar attacks, Taliban gunmen attacked a guesthouse in the diplomatic quarter of Afghanistan’s capital Kabul, where many embassies and government buildings are located.

Heavy attacks targeting foreigners have hit Kabul over the past three weeks, including a bomb attack on a EU vehicle near Kabul's airport which killed a British security contractor and two civilians.

Afghan government this month agreed on a memorandum of understanding that proposed intelligence sharing with Pakistan which has also long been fighting against Taliban militancy since the US intervention in the region.

The memorandum of understanding has created some discontent among Afghanistan’s political and military elites who have been accusing Pakistan of patronizing certain Taliban groups on its soil.

The issue of Taliban became as the most emergent security problem for Islamabad as the Pakistani Taliban, known as Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), has also increased its offensive against the Pakistani army since the militant group splitted from the Afghan Taliban in 2007.


TRTWorld and agencies