Violence; civilian casulaties

Violence continues to claim lives as peace talks are on halt

As many as 20 people, including civilians, have lost their lives in the latest wave of violence that erupted in different parts of the country as of late last night, Friday, April 23.

Early morning today, Saturday, April 24, Kabul police confirmed that four military forces and a civilian were shot dead in two separate incidents in PD4 of the city and Paghman district of Kabul.

In a separate incident in the northern Takhar province, the Taliban militants attacked at security outposts of the People’s Uprising Force – a pro-government militia, killing seven members of the local security forces. Sallahuddin Borhani, a member of Takhar Provincial Council, told Kabul Now that the incident took place last night, Friday, April 23, in Bangi district of the province.

The latest surge in violence intensifies while the US is putting diplomatic efforts to push the Taliban and the Afghan government to reconcile a power-sharing deal. Earlier, the Biden administration announced that all US troops will leave Afghanistan by September 11. But the Taliban said the group would not attend any conference on Afghanistan until all foreign forces withdraw from the country.

After concluding a trilateral meeting held in Istanbul, the foreign ministers of Turkey, Afghanistan, and Pakistan unanimously urged the Taliban to return to the negotiating table and resume peace talks. In a joint statement, they called on all parties, in particular the Taliban, to “reaffirm their commitment for achieving an inclusive negotiated settlement leading to lasting peace” in Afghanistan.

Turkey, Qatar, and the United Nations were supposed to host a high-level 10-day meeting in Istanbul between the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban representatives. The meeting was tentatively scheduled to start on April 24 but it was postponed for a date after the month of Ramadan as the Taliban reportedly refused to attend it during the month of Ramadan.

The Afghan government has repeatedly warned that Afghan security forces would continue to defend Afghan soil against the insurgents if the Taliban pulled out of talks.

Four civilians were killed and two others wounded after a roadside bomb went off in Shalez area of Ghazni city today, Saturday, April 24. Naser Ahmad Faqiri, a member of Ghazni provincial council, told Kabul Now that the roadside bomb was planted by the Taliban militants that hit a minibus transporting civilians.

The Taliban has not claimed responsibility for the attack.

On Friday, April 23, unknown armed men gunned down a woman in Injil district of the western Herat province.  Abdul Ahad Walizada, the spokesperson for Herat Police Chief, told Kabul Now that the assailants managed to escape the area. He, however, did not provide detail about the identity of the victim.

Afghanistan has seen a growing rise in targeted killings ever since the US signed a peace deal with the Taliban on February 29, 2020, in Doha, the capital of Qatar.

In another incident, a roadside bomb killed three Afghan security forces in Logar province, local officials confirmed today.

The Afghan security officials blame the Taliban for targeted killings but the group denies involvement in targeted violence.

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