In Afghanistan, explosions and skirmishes have killed at least 49 people in Afghanistan. At least seven people died in an attack on a bus with Mining Ministry officials in the eastern city of Kabul on Thursday. Another 21 were injured in the explosions, said the spokesman for the Ministry of Health, Wahidullah Majar on Twitter. Among the killed were five women and one child.
According to the Interior Ministry, a suicide bomber who attacked the bus on a motorcycle in the east of the city. A little later there was a second explosion in the same area, but the cause was unclear. Shortly thereafter, a car bomb detonated at another location in the east of the city. For this incident, there were no details from the authorities. The radical Islamic Taliban claimed the car bomb attack for themselves. The goal was a convoy of international forces.
At least thirty-five security forces were killed in battles in the northern province of Tachar on the night of Thursday. In a Taliban raid on a base and several checkpoints in the district of Ischkamisch 35 police officers were killed, said the authorities representative Sajid Mehrabuddin. In addition, six policemen and six civilians had been injured in the more than five hours of fighting. After the raid, the Taliban had set fire to the checkpoints and base. The provincial councilor Maulavi Karamatullah even spoke of 43 killed security forces. Another nine are off.
In the eastern province of Nangarhar Afghanistan, a minibus drove on Thursday morning to a roadside bomb. At least seven civilians were killed, said the press office of the provincial governor. The passengers were on their way to a wedding.
Violence in Afghanistan continues despite ongoing discussions on the political settlement of the longstanding conflict. Since July of last year, the United States has had direct talks with senior Taliban officials. These are mainly troop withdrawals and America’s demand for guarantees that no more terrorist attacks are planned from Afghanistan. A truce continues to reject the radical Islamic Taliban.
The parties to the conflict believe that their own bargaining position can be strengthened by increased military pressure. The think tank International Crisis Group recently warned in an analysis that escalating violence could lead to a hardening of positions. Following attacks in recent weeks, Afghans also called on social media to suspend talks.
At the same time, the US-Taliban talks are supposed to lead to direct peace talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government. So far, the Taliban are refusing to talk to the government they see as the puppet of the West. The Special Envoy for Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, is currently in Kabul. After that, the chief negotiator wants to enter the Gulf Emirate Qatar to continue the negotiations.