A group of Afghan soldiers were ambushed by Taliban fighters on the night of Friday, March 9, in the western Farah province. According to government officials, the soldiers were gathering in the Bala Buluk district for an operation when they were attacked. At least 15 soldiers, including members of the Special Forces, died in the incident. Provincial leaders claimed that airstrikes were called in, resulting in around 25 insurgents being killed.
The Taliban conducted a similar assault against a military base in the Bala Buluk district on February 24. At least 25 Afghan soldiers were killed in the attack.
The Taliban has made gains in various parts of the country, including in Helmand and Farah provinces, since most foreign combat troops withdrew from Afghanistan at the end of 2014. The Taliban tend to target government and military buildings and personnel as they fight the US-backed Kabul government, and have been increasingly active since US President Trump announced plans in September 2017 to send an additional 3000 troops to rout terrorist networks in the country.
Due to major security concerns more generally, 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.