A Taliban-claimed suicide bombing attack killed at least ten people and left several others wounded in Kunduz (Kunduz province) on Saturday evening (local time), August 31, after Taliban militants launched a multi-pronged offensive to take control of the city early Saturday morning. At least three civilians and dozens of Taliban militants were killed in armed clashes in the city on Saturday.
While clashes were reportedly still ongoing in the outskirts of Kunduz around the time of the suicide bombing attack, Afghan security forces were repelling the assault and engaged in carrying out clearance operations in parts of the city as of Saturday evening. Sporadic fighting is to be expected in the Kunduz area over the coming hours as clearance operations continue. Similar Taliban attacks are to be anticipated in Afghanistan over the near term as US negotiators seek to finalize a deal with the militant group to withdraw American troops from the country.
The August 31 Taliban assault marks the third time the city of Kunduz has come under a sustained, large-scale attack since 2015. 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.
Individuals in Kunduz province are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid affected areas, remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities or 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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