Mon, 24 Feb 2020

Taliban kills 30 cops in blistering attack in Afghanistan

By Sheetal Sukhija, The Tokyo News.Net
15 Nov 2018, 21:04 GMT+10

KABUL, Afghanistan - Amid an ongoing and intensified battle against Taliban, officials in Afghanistan have now reported another attack by the insurgent group, which targeted the country's police force.

On Thursday, officials in Afghanistan's western Farah province said that Taliban engaged in an hours-long overnight fight to capture a key police outpost in one of the districts.

The Provincial council member Dadullah Qani said that Taliban insurgents launched an attack on the police outpost in the Khaki Safed district late on Wednesday night. 

Qani said that the battle lasted for over four hours and resulted in the death of 30 policemen. 

Further, officials confirmed that Taliban insurgents managed to flee with a large amount of weapons and ammunition following the attack. 

Confirming the attack on Thursday, Samiullah Samim, a lawmaker in Kabul said that Taliban killed the district police commander, Abdul Jabhar in the overnight attack.

Samim also added that Afghanistan had launched retaliatory airstrikes, which resulted in the death of 17 Taliban fighters.

War turns strategic

Despite vowing to engage in talks with the Afghan government, Taliban has carried out near-daily attacks across Afghanistan and its attacks in recent months have managed to inflict heavy damage on the already overstretched Afghan forces.  

According to estimates from the NATO-led Resolute Support mission, Afghanistan's security forces are suffering from their highest level of casualties ever.

Further, unofficial estimates reveal that about 45 Afghan police or soldiers are killed or wounded in Taliban attacks every single day.

Taliban's recent attack in Farah province, which borders Iran, comes as part of the insurgent group's strategy to weaken the Afghanistan government's grip on the region. 

As part of this strategy, Taliban recently launched an attack at checkpoints in Farah city and nearby districts, killing 50 police and government soldiers.

Najib Danish, a spokesman for the interior ministry in Kabul said in a statement, "Unfortunately, many of our men have lost their lives in Farah."

Danish confirmed that over 30 policemen had been killed since Wednesday and additional forces were being deployed in the key province.

Later on Thursday, Taliban claimed responsibility for the clashes in Farah.

Qari Yousuf Ahmadi, a spokesman for Taliban said that its fighters killed 35 security personnel, arrested two security officials, destroyed government vehicles and seized a large cache of weapons in Farah.

Further, Afghanistan's local officials later confirmed on Thursday that three security check posts fell to the Taliban in Shewan, Garani and Aab Khormay areas of Bala Blook district in Farah province.

According to Mohibullah, a spokesman for the provincial police chief, Taliban engaged in separate overnight clashes in Peshtkoh district.

In recent months, Taliban has intensified its strikes on strategic provinces in their bid to expel foreign forces and achieve their single-minded agenda of expelling foreign forces from the country.

In the few negotiations held over the years and more recently in the talks facilitated by Russia in which the hardline militant group participated - Taliban has laid forward the same requirement to end their years-long war against the Western-backed government. 

Meanwhile, the U.S. special envoy Zalmay Khalilzad, who is an Afghan-born former U.S. ambassador to Kabul, is aiming at opening peace negotiations with the insurgents in the region. 

The special envoy reportedly met the Afghanistan President Ashraf Ghani and other officials over the weekend following an initial meeting held with Taliban officials in Qatar last month. 

Taliban is aiming at restoring their version of hardline Islamic law in Afghanistan.   

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