At least 16 police officers were killed and another two injured in the early morning hours (local time) on Monday, October 21, in a Taliban attack on a checkpoint in the Ali Abad district of the northern Kunduz province. The Taliban also sustained casualties in the clash, which ended after the deployment of reinforcement troops at around 03:30.
A heightened security presence and transportation disruptions are to be expected in the vicinity of the incident over the coming hours. Similar militant attacks are possible in Kunduz province over the near-term.
The Taliban has a strong presence in Kunduz and retains control in several of the province's districts. In August 2019, militants tried to overrun the provincial capital of Kunduz.
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 Kunduz are advised to remain vigilant for militant activity, and adhere to all instructions issued by the local authorities and 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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