On Sunday, March 17, Afghan government officials announced the capture of a large number of soldiers by Taliban militants in Baghdis province. According to the statement, Taliban fighters attacked Afghan forces in the Morichaq area of Bala Murghab (Murghab district), on Saturday, March 16. By Sunday, the militant group had captured up to 150 soldiers. This follows a similar incident in Murghab district on Monday, March 11, where Taliban forces killed or captured approximately 50 soldiers. The Taliban reportedly controls most of Murghab district, the most populous district in Baghdis province. Further such attacks are likely in the northwest, and throughout Afghanistan, in the coming weeks as the Taliban seeks to maximize its position before peace negotiations resume.
On Saturday, March 16, militants killed 22 soldiers in neighboring Faryab province.
Taliban militants launch attacks on government personnel, security forces, and civilians in Afghanistan on a near-daily basis. Such assaults are, in part, 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 and to gain leverage amid ongoing peace negotiations. The Taliban concluded peace negotiations with US diplomats on Tuesday, March 12. The US stated that progress was made but no agreement was in place.
Individuals in Afghanistan are advised to monitor developments to the situation, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to instructions and advice issued by their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.
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