Taliban militants killed 28 security forces members in three separate attacks in Zabul and Farah provinces on the night (local time) of Saturday, October 13. In Meezan district (Zabul province), Taliban militants clashed with security forces, killing the district police chief. In another Taliban attack in Shahr-e Safa district (Zabul province), militants killed at least seven police officers. Also, on Saturday night, Taliban militants raided two security checkpoints in Dokan village (Pusht Rod district, Farah province), killing at least 20 Afghan soldiers and capturing two others. Similar Taliban attacks on security forces are possible in Afghanistan ahead of parliamentary elections on Saturday, October 20.
Taliban militants regularly launch attacks on security forces in Afghanistan. Such assaults are likely intended 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 on October 20.
Clashes between security forces and Taliban militants have also taken place elsewhere in Afghanistan ahead of the October 20 elections. Notably, Afghan special forces killed at least 21 Taliban militants in an operation in Wardak province, according to reports on October 11, as the militants assembled to plan attacks aimed at disrupting the elections. Taliban militants also launched an attack on a checkpoint in Qala-e Zal district (Kunduz province) on October 11, killing 15 police officers.
Individuals in Afghanistan, particularly those in the abovementioned areas, are advised to monitor the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Although travel is possible 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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