War Claims Lives of 322 Soldiers, 302 Civilians in May

Information gathered by TOLOnews indicates that at least 624 people–302 civilians and 322 security force members–in various regions of the country were killed in blasts, fighting and targeted killing in the month of May, and 710 others were wounded during this period.

Over the past month, several provinces across the country saw fierce fighting between the Afghan security forces and the Taliban, and the center of at least four districts in Baghlan, Laghman and Maidan Wardak provinces fell to the Taliban.

The Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF) repelled a series of Taliban attacks and inflicted heavy casualties on the Taliban during the fighting.

“During this period, massive casualties were inflicted on the Taliban. The Afghan security and defense forces are ready to target the Taliban and other terrorist groups in every corner of the country if necessary,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense.

Ghulam Farooq Nejrabi, a former presidential candidate, is one of the civilians whose life was devastated after a mine blast on Saturday killed his son, who was a university lecturer in Parwan province.

Since Saturday, Nejrabi has been sleeping next to the grave of his son.

“I come every night and sleep beside him because I can’t be separated from him,” said Nejrabi.

“They (attackers) ask themselves, who could serve the country, my son or yours? Unfortunately, they did not allow him to serve,” said Nejrabi.

In the last hours of May, four security force members were killed in a car bomb attack by the Taliban on the police headquarters in Baghlan-e-Markazi district in the northern province of Baghlan on Monday evening.

“The explosion was very powerful, people were hurt even 500 meters away from the explosion, the majority of the victims are our civilians,” said Fahim Khan Saeedkheli, the commander of the ANA’s 3rd Division, in Baghlan.

“The Afghan people are being killed and wounded on a daily basis,” said MP Sadiq Qaderi.

Casualties sometimes reach 100 per day, according to some unofficial estimates.

The Taliban claim that their casualties are less than the casualties among Afghan security forces.

Meanwhile, Afghan security officials in southern Afghanistan said that the Taliban has conducted roughly 700 attacks on the city of Lashkargah in the southern province of Helmand over the last three weeks.

The 215 Maiwand Corps Commander, Gen. Sami Sadat, said that nearly ’30 al-Qaeda fighters’ were killed in Afghan security operations that were conducted in response to the Taliban attacks and that the military has gathered evidence of their identities.

The attacks were mostly focused on Lashkargah City’s District 10 and District 3 – on the outskirts of the city – and parts of these two areas temporarily fell to the Taliban.

NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg on Monday said that the security situation in Afghanistan remains “very difficult and challenging,” and reiterated that as the US and coalition forces leave, “at some stage, Afghans should take full responsibility for their own future.”

Pentagon officials have said that the withdrawal from Afghanistan is “up to 25% complete.” US President Joe Biden announced in April that he will withdraw all American troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, but officials in Washington have said that the pullout might be completed earlier than the given deadline.

In Kabul, efforts are underway to resume the stalled peace talks in Doha and to form a Supreme State Council to lead the peace process. However, violence remains high as the Taliban launches attacks in at least 18 provinces every day, based on data provided by the Ministry of Defense.