Airstrikes in Kandahar second day in a row
Afghan forces regain control over three districts
Talks between the Afghan govt and Taliban begin in Doha
Kabul: Afghan forces killed 300 militants in operation against the Taliban in the past 24 hours. In air raids carried out at Kandahar and Takhar, more than 81 militants were killed, the Afghan defence minister said. At the same time, the Afghan forces drove out the Taliban militants and regained control over three districts. The conflict in Afghanistan has not come to a halt even though the Afghan government and the Taliban leaders are currently in talks in Qatar’s capital Doha.
A few days ago, a senior Taliban commander had claimed that the group had control of 85% of Afghanistan’s territory, sparking concerns over the situation in the country. Afghanistan is feared to fall under the complete control of the Taliban in the next few weeks. Although the Afghan military has faced setbacks against the Taliban in a few areas, the Afghan Defense Ministry said it was doing a good job in the fight.
The Afghan army has launched a significant number of air attacks as part of operations against the Taliban militants. According to the Afghan Defense Ministry, 284 Taliban militants were killed in Friday’s clashes while 205 were wounded. At least 81 militants were killed in air attacks in Jowzjan province alone. Also, the militants were killed in significant numbers in the air raids launched on Kandahar, Takhar and Balkh provinces on Saturday, the Afghan Defence Ministry said. The Afghanistan military is said to have carried out heavy airstrikes on Kandahar province near the Pakistan border.
The Afghan military has undertaken a comprehensive campaign to regain control over the border post at the strategic border crossing of Spin Boldak, captured by the Taliban. Afghan Vice President Amrullah Saleh exposed Pakistan, saying the country had threatened Afghanistan with air raids if it tried to drive out the Taliban from the Spin Boldak border crossing.
Reports reveal that the Afghan forces have intensified their crackdown in the region since then. Simultaneously, the Afghan military recaptured three districts in Parwan, Bamiyan and Nimroz. Even as the clashes in Afghanistan escalate, the Afghan government and the Taliban leaders have initiated talks in Qatar. Dr Abdullah Abdullah, the chairman of the High Council for National Reconciliation, and former President Hamid Karzai have participated in the negotiations with senior Taliban commander Mullah Baradar and Suhail Shaheen.
The Taliban are claimed of being firm on their demand of establishing an Islamic regime in Afghanistan. At the same time, the Taliban has shown readiness to reach a ceasefire for the next three months in the country. The militant group has, nevertheless, demanded a release of 7,000 of its comrades in return, an Afghan government official disclosed two days ago. The official expressed concerns over the Taliban’s demand. He said if the government acceded to the militant groups’ demands, it would embolden them, intensifying attacks in Afghanistan.