Taliban members launched separate attacks on Afghan security forces in Afghanistan’s north, killing at least 52, according to provincial officials, cited by AP.
The fighting started late night September 9th and continued until the morning of September 10th. AP cited Mohammad Yusouf Ayubi, head of the provincial council in Kunduz province, who said that at least 13 security forces were killed, and 15 others wounded in an attack on a checkpoint they were manning in Dashti Archi district.
In the Jawzjani province, Provincial Police Chief Gen. Faqir Mohammad Jawzjani said the Taliban attacked Khamyab district from different sides, forcing Afghan forces to withdraw from the district headquarters to avoid civilian causalities. “There was intense fighting and we didn’t want civilian houses destroyed, or any civilian casualties,” said Jawzjani. He claimed that at least 8 policemen were killed, and three others were wounded. He also added that seven Taliban were killed and eight were wounded in the fighting.
Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid announced that the group claims responsibility for the attacks in Kunduz and Jawzjan provinces.
The Taliban also killed another 14 local Afghan policemen and pro-government militia, they also wounded 6 in the Dara Suf district of Samangan province, provincial spokesman Sediq Azizi said. Three Taliban were killed and four were wounded, according to him. Nobody claimed responsibility for the attack, nevertheless Azizi accused Taliban members that are active in the province and often target Afghan forces.
Across the Sari Pul province, Taliban fighters killed at least 17 Afghan security forces and wounded 3 in attacks, according to the provincial governor, Zahir Wahdat. He claimed that 39 Taliban fighters were killed, and 14 others were wounded in the battles, adding that the death toll could rise. Gen. Abdul Qayum Baqizai, the provincial police chief, said at least two security forces were killed in the battles. “The Taliban’s attack has been repelled, but sporadic gun battles are underway at the outskirts of the city,” Baqizai added. There has been no comment about fighting in the Sari Pul province from the Taliban side.
On September 9th, Taliban fighters killed 40 members of the Afghan security forces at a military base in the northern province of Baghlan and another 19 police officers and soldiers in Wardak and Herat Provinces.
On the same day, seven people were killed in Kabul as a suicide bomber attacked a commemoration marking the 17th anniversary of the killing of Ahmad Shah Masoud, who led the resistance against the Taliban in the late 1990s, he was killed by a suicide bomber two days prior to the September 11th attacks in the US.
This all came after on September 7th, the US command in Afghanistan announced on September 7 that Defense Secretary James Mattis had arrived in Kabul. The New American cited AP which reported that Mattis was accompanied by General Joseph Dunford, chairman of the joint chiefs of staff. Afghan presidential spokesman Mohammad Haroon told the AP that Mattis was expected to meet President Ashraf Ghani, as well as Afghan, U.S., and NATO military commanders.
The AP report cited by the New American also noted that the US government appeared to be increasing efforts to negotiate an end to the war in Afghanistan.
Prior to that, National Public Radio reported that on September 4th, Zalmay Khalilzad, who served as U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and Iraq and as U.N. ambassador during the administration of President George W. Bush, was named President Trump’s special adviser to Afghanistan. “Ambassador Khalilzad is going to join the State Department team to assist us in the reconciliation effort, so he will come on and be the State Department’s lead person for that purpose,” Pompeo told reporters. Khalilzad will “be full-time focused on developing the opportunities to get the Afghans and the Taliban to come to a reconciliation.”
The New American reported that Khalilzad “Khalilzad is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR), an organization that has dominated U.S. foreign policy since the end of World War II, pushing for constant military intervention in other nations and entangling U.S. troops in a never-ending series of no-win wars,” such as the 17-year-long war and still continuing war in Afghanistan.