Taliban attacks overshadow peace efforts

Taliban attacks overshadow peace efforts

Widespread attacks on two provincial capitals in northern afghanistan over the weekend overshadowed efforts to find a political solution to the conflict that has lasted nearly 18 years.

On saturday night, fighters of the radical islamic taliban first attacked the city of kunduz. An attack on the town of pul-e chumri followed on sunday morning. Dozens of people were killed or wounded.

The attacks came as efforts are underway between the taliban and the u.S. To politically resolve years of conflict. On sunday morning, the u.S. Special envoy for afghanistan zalmay khalilzad wrote on twitter that they are now on the verge of an agreement with the taliban. A few hours earlier, khalilzad had tweeted that he had raised the attack on kunduz at the negotiations in doha. Violence like in kundus must stop.

Afghans accused the taliban on sunday in social media of not being interested in peace. Activists also speculated about whether taliban negotiators in the qatari capital of doha had any influence at all on commanders in afghanistan. Analysts say taliban see military gains as key leverage in peace talks. They also saw no need to stop the attacks without an official cease-fire and were told that security forces were also continuing their attacks against them.

According to several provincial sources, the attack on pul-e chumri began at around 1 a.M. On sunday.00 o’clock at night (local time). The taliban had taken the areas of band-e du and saman chel in the city. The fighters had barricaded themselves in houses and were fighting battles with security forces. A checkpoint was also attacked.

According to a representative of the health department of baghlan province, at least seven people were killed and another 45 injured in the fighting in the city. The victims were members of the security forces and civilians.

Fighting had died down somewhat by sunday evening. Sporadic fighting continued to flare up in one area, provincial councilor hajatullah wafa said. The overland routes from the city to the south to kabul and to the north to kunduz also remain completely blocked by the taliban. The strains are empty.

Pul-e chumri is the capital of baghlan province. In the province, the security situation has increasingly deteriorated in recent months. In pul-e chumri itself, there have also been several fights with the taliban this year. Islamists have a strong presence in many areas around the city.

In the northern city of kunduz, which was attacked by hundreds of taliban fighters on saturday, the situation calmed down again on sunday, according to the authorities. Kunduz deputy allah nasar turkmani said sunday that the taliban had retreated overnight. There is no more fighting, business is open again. Several hundred taliban fighters had attacked the city from several directions on saturday night. They were able to capture several facilities and areas for a short time.

According to the interior ministry on sunday, at least 25 people were killed in the fighting around kunduz and in a suicide attack in the center of the city on saturday evening. 20 of those killed were security forces and five civilians. At least 85 other civilians and security forces were wounded.

At least 20 more civilians were killed in incidents in two other provinces on sunday. The local television station tolonews reported that twelve civilians were killed by an air strike in western farah. Eight civilians died in the northern province of balch after their car hit a bomb placed on the side of a road, he said.

The direct talks between the U.S. And the taliban, which have been going on for more than a year, are mainly about troop withdrawals and guarantees by the taliban that afghanistan will not become a safe haven for terrorists. Talks to lead to intra-afghan peace talks. Until now, the taliban had refused to talk directly to the government in kabul, which they consider a puppet of the west. A cease-fire is also said to be on the agenda.

According to both sides, the latest round of talks ended on sunday. U.S. Chief negotiator khalilzad said an agreement was close to being reached. He was going to kabul on sunday. He was expected to brief the government in kabul on the status of negotiations. Taliban also optimistic. The spokesman for the taliban’s political bureau in doha, suhail shahin, wrote on twitter that they were close to the "end of the occupation" and to a peaceful solution.