Taliban blow up Afghanistan army outpost, killing at least 7

0
36
File - In this Wednesday, April 29, 2020 file photo, Afghan special forces stand guard at the site of a suicide bomber attack on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan.Afghanistan has been at war for more than 40 years, first against the invading Soviet army that killed more than 1 million people, then feuding mujahedin groups in a bitter civil war followed by the repressive Taliban rule and finally the latest war that began after the 2001 U.S.-led coalition invasion that toppled the Taliban government. (AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File)

Reuters

KABUL: Taliban insurgents attacked an army outpost in Afghanistan’s southwestern Farah province killing at least seven soldiers, local officials said on Monday, as the country braces for violence after May 1, a previously agreed deadline for foreign troop withdrawal.

In a video message to media, Farah Governor Taj Mohammad Jahid said the Taliban had blown up an army outpost after digging a 400m tunnel to access it from a nearby house. He added that one soldier had also been captured by the insurgents.

Two local officials, one speaking on condition of anonymity, said dozens of military including elite commando forces had been killed.

Provincial council member Khayer Mohammad Noorzai said that around 30 had died in the attack and that the base was in the hands of the Taliban.

A Taliban spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

Officials said a blast in the province’s capital on Monday had wounded 21 people, including five children. Farah Public Health Director Abdul Jabar Shayeq said three of the injured were in hospital in critical condition.

Afghanistan’s capital was placed on high alert over the weekend and security in urban centres ramped up while the head of foreign forces in Afghanistan warned insurgents against attacking foreign troops as they withdraw from the country over the coming months.

Under a February 2020 deal between former US president Donald Trump’s administration and the Taliban, foreign forces were to withdraw from the country by May 1 while the hardline Islamist group held off on attacking foreign troops and bases.

But US President Joe Biden announced last month after reviewing the situation that US forces would instead complete their withdrawal by Sept 11, more than four months later than the previous plan.

Violence against Afghans has escalated in recent weeks, with more than a hundred Afghan security forces personnel killed. On Friday, a huge blast in eastern Logar killed dozens as they broke their fast during the holy Islamic month of Ramadan.