ONCS: 129 civilians killed in Taliban attacks over past month

Afghanistan Office of the National Security Council (ONSC), in a statement issued today, July 18, said that 129 civilians, mostly women and children, were killed and 291 others were wounded in Taliban attacks during past month in the country.

According to the ONSC, the Taliban have made 1,456 military campaigns, mostly attacks, in 30 provinces of the country.

This comes as more than 100 Taliban militants were killed and dozens others wounded in recent clashes erupted between the militants and the Afghan security forces in five provinces, according to security officials.

Talking to Kabul Now, Mohammad Haneef Rezaie, spokesperson for the 209 Shaheen Military Corps said Friday, July 17, that 78 Taliban insurgents, including four key commanders of the group, were killed and 32 others wounded in direct combat with the Afghan security forces and in airstrikes conducted by the Afghan Air Force. According to him, three militants were arrested in the battlefield.

The Afghan forces have also seized some light and heavy weapons and vehicles of the militants across the northern Balkh, Faryab, and Sar-e-Pul provinces, according to Mr. Rezaie.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense, in a statement, said that 10 Taliban militants were killed and six others wounded in counterattacks by the the Afghan defense and security forces in Khogyani district of the southern Ghazni province.

In clashes erupted in the eastern Paktia province, 18 Taliban militants were killed and four others wounded in Ahmad Khel, Samkani, and Zadran districts of the province, according to the 203 Afghan Military Corps.

On the other hand, local officials in the eastern Nangarhar and Logar provinces have confirmed that nine pro-government forces have been killed in Taliban attacks. Though the local officials did not provide specific tolls, they claimed that dozens of Taliban militants were killed and wounded in counterattacks of Afghan security forces in the two provinces.

The surge in violence comes at a time when the Afghan government and the Taliban are preparing for intra-Afghan talks, which will take place in Doha, Qatar, in coming months. Under US-Taliban peace deal signed on February 29, the two sides have to work for a political settlement.