Taliban militants launched an attack on a military outpost in Baghlan-e-Markazi district (Baghlan province) on the morning of Wednesday, August 15 (local time), killing at least 44 soldiers and police officers. In a separate attack, Taliban fighters laid siege to an Afghan National Army (ANA) base in the Ghormach district (Faryab province) from Sunday, August 12, to Tuesday, August 14, killing at least 40 soldiers before eventually capturing the base and kidnapping 43 others. Local sources indicate that Taliban fighters seized weapons, vehicles, and other equipment in both the Baghlan and Faryab attacks. Additional Taliban attacks are possible in Baghlan and Faryab provinces in the near-term, including ahead of potential peace negotiations between Taliban fighters and Afghan government officials, as well as parliamentary and district elections slated for October.
Recent Taliban attacks in these and other provinces - notably including Ghazni province, where the provincial capital endured a major, multi-day Taliban assault beginning on August 10 - come ahead of expected peace negotiations between Taliban fighters and the Afghan government. The Taliban attack on Ghazni, while repelled on August 14, was likely intended to show the strength of Taliban capabilities in battle near Kabul, and therefore strengthen their position vis-a-vis the government in potential negotiations. Such assaults on Ghazni, Farah, and in Baghlan and Faryab provinces this year have also threatened to undermine the perceived capacity of Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), and the Afghan government more broadly, to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country in 2014 and ahead of parliamentary and district elections scheduled in October.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is permissible in some areas, other areas should be considered strictly off-limits. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
Copyright and Disclaimer