Taliban militants killed 12 people, including security forces members, in Faryab and Baghlan provinces on Thursday, August 16, and Friday, August 17. According to local officials, Taliban fighters killed a local administrative official from Shirin Tagab district and three others in Faryab province on Thursday evening (local time); Taliban fighters also killed eight police officers and wounded two others in an attack in Surkh Kotal (Baghlan province) on Friday. Additional Taliban attacks are possible in these and other areas of northern Afghanistan in the coming days and weeks.
Recent Taliban attacks in these and other provinces - notably including in 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-à-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.
Individuals in Faryab and Baghlan provinces are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and their home governments.
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.
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