On Tuesday, January 15, the Taliban claimed responsibility for a vehicle-borne improvised explosive device (VBIED) attack that struck eastern Kabul's PD09 area on the night (local time) of Monday, January 14. The attack left at least five people dead and over 110 others wounded. The claim comes as the Taliban threatened on Tuesday to halt peace negotiations with American representatives unless the US addresses the withdrawal of foreign forces from Afghanistan in the talks. Similar Taliban attacks are possible over the coming weeks as the militant group seeks to increase leverage in ongoing peace negotiations and ahead of the planned 2019 Afghan presidential election slated for July 20.
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.
Individuals in Kabul 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. 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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