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Taliban Kills At Least Eight Troops In Northern Afghanistan Attack

Afghan security forces patrol a village after they cleared the area of Taliban militants in the Achin district of the Nangarhar Province on May 31.

Taliban militants launched an attack against Afghan security forces in the northern province of Baghlan on June 5, killing at least eight people, according to a security official.

Two district police chiefs and six officers were killed in the attack on the Julga district, the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity said.

The attack, which began shortly after midnight continued until early on June 5 from different directions, the official said.

Gulbuddin, the police chief for the Julga district, and Lotful ul-Haq, the police chief for the Burka district of Baghlan who had come to the aid of his colleagues in Julga, were killed in the fighting.

The spiraling violence and stalled peace talks between the Taliban and the Western-backed government in Kabul have cast further uncertainty over the future of the country once U.S.-led international forces leave by September.

Security officials reported fighting between the government forces and the Taliban in at least 10 provinces in the last 24 hours.

On June 5, officials said that Taliban militants have captured another district in the eastern province of Nuristan, adding to recent military gains.

Provincial councilor Saidullah Nuristani told the German news agency dpa that government troops were forced to abandon the Doab district of the province after 20 days of resistance, after militants cut all their supply lines.

On June 4, Taliban militants captured two districts in two different provinces.

After a week of heavy fighting, the militants took control of Shenkai district in the southern Zabul Province, local officials said.

The Gizab district of the southern Uruzgan Province also came under Taliban control after heavy fighting, according to local officials.

There was also fighting reported in the southern province of Herat.

In the southern province of Helmand, an Afghan army air strike on June 4 on an abandoned army base captured by the Taliban killed multiple civilians, officials said.

In a report for the UN Security Council circulated on June 4, a group of UN experts said Taliban militants appear to be trying to strengthen their military position as leverage in the negotiations with the government in Kabul, with the "unprecedented violence" of 2020 carrying into 2021.

The 22-page report said the withdrawal of U.S. and NATO forces by September “will challenge Afghan forces by limiting aerial operations with fewer drones and radar and surveillance capabilities, less logistical support and artillery, as well as a disruption in training.”

It said that the Taliban are reported to be responsible for the great majority of targeted assassinations that have become a feature of the violence in Afghanistan.

These attacks “appear to be undertaken with the objective of weakening the capacity of the government and intimidating civil society,” it said.

With reporting by, dpa, AP, and AFP
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