More than 37 Afghans including 21 police have been killed in the conflict-battered Afghanistan over the past 24 hours amid accelerating efforts to start intra-Afghan dialogue to find negotiated settlement to the country’s lingering conflicts.
According to Afghan officials, Taliban militants observed undeclared ceasefire at the end of the three-day Eid al-Fitr truce on May 26 to mark the end of Muslims fasting holy month of Ramadan, then they continued to target security forces.
They launched massive offensives on security checkpoints in Khash district of the northern Badakhshan province early Saturday, triggering a gun battle which lasted for hours, leaving 15 people including four militants and 11 police dead.
Similarly, 10 more police were killed and another wounded after Taliban militants ambushed a patrol team of police in the southern Zabul province on Friday, Interior Ministry spokesman Tareq Arian has confirmed.
At least a dozen more Afghans including civilians, security personnel and militants have been killed elsewhere in the war-battered country over the period, according to security officials.
Spike in militants activities has taken place amid bolstering peace efforts as the United States special envoy for Afghanistan reconciliation Zalmay Khalizad reportedly on Friday embarked on his three-nation tour which includes Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan to bolster intra-Afghan talks.
Although Taliban attacks have dropped down since the observance of a ceasefire on May 24, security officials believe that the militants launched at least 30 offensives on security forces in each 24 hours.
To subdue militants’ activities, the United States military for the first time since the three-day Eid al-Fitr ceasefire launched two airstrikes on Taliban militants in the western Farah and southern Kandahar provinces on June 4, inflicting casualties, a spokesman for the U.S military in Afghanistan Sonny Leggett has confirmed.
Afghanistan’s Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqi has said the government “is ready to talk with the Taliban” anywhere to end the war in the country which is the earnest desire of all Afghans.