Asia - Pacific

Taliban moles kill 12 pro-government Afghan militiamen

Official says insurgents infiltrated militia in western province, Taliban hail withdrawal of US troops

Shadi Khan Saif   | 16.01.2021
Taliban moles kill 12 pro-government Afghan militiamen File Photo

KABUL, Afghanistan

Taliban infiltrators killed at least 12 members of a pro-government militia in western Afghanistan, officials confirmed on Saturday.

The incident took place in Ghorian district of Herat province, which borders Iran, late last evening, police spokesperson Abdul Ahad told Anadolu Agency.

He said a team has been sent to the area to start an investigation.

Violence has escalated in Afghanistan amid stalled peace talks in Qatar’s capital Doha and the US’ ongoing drawdown of military forces.

Apart from the Herat incident, there were also Taliban attacks in the southern Kandahar province and the northern provinces of Kunduz and Baghlan over the past 24 hours, according to officials and local media reports.

Four suicide bombers were killed in a car bombing targeting a facility of the NDS spy agency in Kandahar’s Damaan district, provincial governor Ruhullah Khanzada said in a statement.

On Friday, the Afghan Defense Ministry claimed that 118 Taliban insurgents were killed in counterterrorism operations across the country.

It said in a statement that operations were conducted in Kandahar, Helmand, Uruzgan, Ghazni, Kunar, and Kunduz provinces.

Taliban hail US withdrawal

The Taliban have welcomed America’s decision to fly out more troops from Afghanistan.

“We [Taliban] assure them [US] that we are committed to the points of the [February 2020] agreement and want the same from the other side,” Mohammad Naeem, a spokesperson for the group, said on Twitter.

This follows a statement by acting US Defense Secretary Christopher Miller that the US “is closer than ever to ending nearly two decades of war and welcoming in an Afghan-owned, Afghan-led peace process to achieve a political settlement and a permanent and comprehensive ceasefire.”

“With a force of 2,500, commanders have what they need to keep America, our people and our interests safe,” he said on Friday.

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