On Thursday, May 21, a spokesman for the Afghan Armed Forces (AAF) reported that airstrikes had killed 21 suspected Taliban militants in Manjeek district (Jowzjan province). This follows reports from Wednesday, May 20, of six suspected militants killed in the same district by the AAF. Several vehicles and a militant base were also allegedly destroyed in the attacks. Local media reports alleged that ten civilians died in the airstrikes, although the AAF denied this claim.
Further security operations in Jowzjan province are expected, and reprisal attacks by militants are possible in the near-term.
Afghanistan remains an extremely high-risk operational environment and deployments should only be undertaken with the strictest possible security risk management procedures in place. Members should maintain a low profile and use a vetted security provider that offers close protection and emergency response services. Minimize time spent in the vicinity of security checkpoints, security headquarters and government buildings, as these are among the primary targets for militant attacks.
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