The Afghan Ministry of Defense confirmed the killing of 35 Taliban militants during a military operation in the provinces of Paktia and Paktika in the southeast of the country, and the military operation comes less than a week after President Ashraf Ghani announced the resumption of military operations against the movement's militants and ISIS throughout the country.
According to a previous statement by the Ministry of Defense yesterday, Saturday, 23 Taliban militants, including a field commander, were killed and 24 others were wounded in an army operation in the city of Trincot, capital of the southern province of Uruzgan.
Afghan officials also said yesterday that eight members of the government forces were killed and nine others wounded in Taliban attacks after midnight on security checkpoints in Paktia province.
Two bloody attacks
The Afghan president’s decision to resume attacks on the Taliban came after dozens were killed and injured in two bloody attacks targeting a funeral in the eastern city of Nangarhar, and a maternity hospital in the capital, Kabul. The authorities held the Taliban and ISIS responsible for the two attacks, while the Taliban denied any responsibility for them and the Islamic State claimed to attack the funeral.
After the attacks, the American envoy to Afghanistan, Zalmay Khalilzad, called on the Afghan parties not to allow the Islamic State to undermine efforts to achieve peace in Afghanistan.
Khalilzad urged all parties to reduce violence and accelerate the release of prisoners, in reference to the Taliban and the Kabul government.
And Washington concluded an agreement with the Taliban on establishing peace in Afghanistan on February 29 in the Qatari capital, Doha.
The agreement provides for the complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan by mid-2021, in exchange for the Taliban’s pledge not to allow Afghan territory to be used as a springboard to attack the interests of America and its allies.
The Doha agreement paves the way for peace negotiations between the Afghan parties to agree to a permanent ceasefire and to agree on the political future of the country.