Conflict Risk Alerts


Taliban attacks continued at high intensity amid signs group could be gearing up for May offensive, while U.S. announced full troop withdrawal by 11 Sept 2021. Taliban continued daily violent attacks in several key areas suggesting preparation for large-scale offensive in coming months, likely after 1 May – date on which U.S. forces are supposed to withdraw according to Feb 2020 deal. In Kunduz province (north), significant Taliban attacks 6, 11, 14 April killed ten police officers on outskirts of Kunduz city, and attacks in border town of Imam Saheb district 6 and 15 April killed at least seven security personnel and as many as eight Taliban militants. In Sar-e Pul province (north), Taliban attacks 9 and 11 April killed five security forces, marking unusually high level of violence in province. In Zabul province (south), Taliban attack involving car bomb 15 April killed ten soldiers on military base in Shahjoy district. In Balkh province (north), Taliban attacks 13 and 22 April killed 18 soldiers and eight more were taken as prisoners. In Qarabagh district in Ghazni province (centre), fighting between Afghan security forces and Taliban displaced around 650 families. In Logar province (east), car bomb 30 April killed at least 27 people and injured over 100. Targeted killings continued across country, although attacks decreased in capital Kabul throughout month; notably, gunmen 18 April killed Afghan Air Force member and 21 April killed university security guard in Mazar-e Sharif city (north). In Kandahar province (south), insider attack at security outpost 11 April killed eight police officers. In major announcement, U.S. President Biden 14 April said U.S. will start evacuating remaining troops from 1 May and intends to fully withdraw from Afghanistan by 11 Sept 2021. Responding to leaked reports, Taliban 13 April rejected U.S.-proposed summit on Afghan Peace Process in Turkey on 24 April on basis that they refuse to attend any Afghan peace summit until all foreign forces are pulled out of Afghanistan; Ankara later confirmed summit postponed. U.S. continued to support diplomatic efforts and rally regional and international consensus to pressure Taliban to remain engaged in talks.