On Tuesday, January 16, a mortar attack killed at least five people and wounded 45 others in Khwaja Sabz Push district (Faryab province). The attack reportedly took place during the weekly bazaar on Tuesday morning (local time); though no group immediately claimed responsibility, local authorities have blamed the Taliban for the attack.
Tuesday's attack comes as the Faryab province governor and others in a provincial delegation have visited the district in recent days to survey ongoing security operations in the area.
Taliban forces regularly perpetrate attacks on Afghan soil as they seek to reimpose strict Islamic law since being ousted by US-led forces in 2001. The Taliban tend to target government and military buildings and personnel as they fight the US-backed Kabul government. The Taliban have been increasingly active since US President Donald Trump announced plans in September 2017 to send an additional 3000 troops to rout terrorist networks in the country.
Individuals in Faryab province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, report all suspicious objects or behavior, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities.
Due to major security concerns, individuals throughout Afghanistan are urged to keep a safe distance from large gatherings, military convoys, government buildings, and crowded urban areas. Many Western governments advise their citizens against travel to Afghanistan due to the high threat of kidnapping and terrorism, including frequent attacks against Afghan National Defense and Security Forces, local civilians and politicians, and individuals working in the humanitarian and reconstruction fields. Travel to the country should only be undertaken with proper security protocols in place.