Fighting Reported in 20 Provinces in Last 24 Hours

Sources and officials said that at least 20 security force members were killed in the clashes.

The Ministry of Defense on Friday reported fighting between the government forces and the Taliban in at least 20 provinces in the past 24 hours.

Sources said over 20 security force members were killed in Taliban attacks in Kunduz and Faryab province on Thursday night.

Five security force members, including the commander of the sixth battalion of the Afghan army, in Khwaja Sabz Posh district were killed in the northern province of Faryab on Thursday afternoon.

Also, in the north, a security source said on Friday that 16 security force members were killed and two more were wounded in a Taliban attack on their outpost in Khan Abad district in the northern province of Kunduz on Thursday night.

“We also suffered casualties due to the intensity of the fighting. We have ten security force members martyred,” said Abdul Sattar Mirzakawal, the governor of Kunduz.

Meanwhile, a car bomb explosion happened in Aino Mina Township in the southern city of Kandahar on Friday afternoon, but police said that the blast caused no casualties.

“It was a car bomb explosion. The good news is that it caused no casualties,” said an eyewitness Juma Khan.

Fierce fighting also reported between the Taliban and the government forces on the outskirts of Lashkargah city in the southern province of Helmand. Meanwhile, clashes were reported in the Arghandab district in the southern province of Kandahar.

“The Taliban attacked an outpost in the PD10 of Lashkargah city. A big area of Helmand is under the control of the Taliban,” said Majid Akhundzada, the deputy head of Helmand provincial council.

“The enemy had their activities, but all these activities were repelled by the brave members of the Afghan security forces,” the Defense Ministry’s spokesman Rohullah Ahmadzai said. “The enemy had massive casualties in their attacks by our security forces.”

Afghans Seek Peace Amid Rise in Violence

A group of politicians, activists and residents of Kabul in two gatherings on Friday called on the warring sides to halt violence and work for peace.

Addressing a gathering in Kabul, Nisar Ahmad Baryalai, an adviser of the High Council for National Reconciliation, claimed that some elements within the Presidential Palace are trying to create obstacles in way of peace.

He said the ongoing peace efforts in Doha are vague and that he is an adviser but is not aware of the details of the process.

“A few unrecognized people have taken Afghanistan in their monopoly. They think that these people are asleep. We don’t want to see our country move towards crisis,” the adviser said.

This comes amidst a long delay in the meetings of the peace negotiators in Doha.

“We call on both sides to work with honesty and help Afghans to get rid of further chaos,” said Jan Mohammad Niazi, a member of Hizb-e-Islami.

“It is now the time to avoid all sorts of excuses and work for peace for the sake of these oppressed people,” said Akhtar Mohammad Tahiri, the head of Maidan Wardak provincial council.