On April 16th, an unidentified group of gunmen killed six Afghans workers, and injured three, at the Bagram Airfield, the US air base in Afghanistan.
Some sources claim there’s 5 victims and 4 injuries, and there is also a lack of clarity regarding who actually carried out the attack.
— Dr. Drexluddin Khan Spiveyzai (@RisboLensky) April 16, 2020
All of the injured and fatalities are Afghans, not US citizens.
The Bagram air base, located in Afghanistan’s Parwan province, is the largest US base in the country.
No group has claimed responsibility for the incident and US military officials have not yet issued a release on the reported attack.
In a separate report by Tolo news, the outlet claimed that 6 people had been killed and 3 had been injured. It is also unclear if it was a group or just a lone motorcyclist with an automatic rifle.
Wahida Shahkar, a spokesperson for the Parwan governor, said that at least 10 workers at the Bagram Airfield were going to their home in a vehicle when they were attacked by gunmen “affiliated with the Taliban” at around 9:40pm.
Taliban denied any involvement in the attack.
Exactly one week earlier, on April 9th, at least 5 rockets were fired towards the Bagram Airfield, a vehicle was destroyed and there were no injuries.
Resolute Support Mission tweeted a confirmation: “Five rockets were fired at Bagram airfield early this morning. There were no casualties or injuries. Our ANDSF partners are investigating the incident.”
#NATO @ResoluteSupport missions says, Five rockets were fired at Bagram airfield early this morning. There were no casualties or injuries. Our #ANDSF partners are investigating the incident. pic.twitter.com/jf07N3KPux
— Pajhwok Afghan News (@pajhwok) April 9, 2020
ISIS claimed responsibility for the attack, in an online message.
The attack on the US airbase is significant because of the terms of the US-Taliban peace deal signed on February 29th, which states that the Taliban will not attack US bases, even as fighting continues between US-backed Afghan government forces and the Taliban.
On April 15th, Taliban carried out an attack on Afghan security forces in the southwestern Logar province, according to the Afghan Ministry of Defense.
At least 9 security forces were killed, but they managed to repel the attack.
According to a provincial councillor in Logar province, the security situation there was deteriorating.
In another attack, two policemen were killed at a checkpoint in the capital city Kunduz, provincial councillor Safiullah Amiri said.
This comes after President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Apri l15th renewed his call on the Taliban to cease-fire amid the coronavirus pandemic in the country.
“The UN Secretary-General, and in particular some countries in the region, have called on all parties to the conflict to cease-fire in order to provide humanitarian assistance to those affected by the crisis. I call on the Taliban to respond positively to this legitimate call by the UN, the countries of the region, the people of Afghanistan and the government to end the war and cease-fire,” Ghani said in a televised speech.
Talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban in Kabul stalled after the government delayed the release of 5,000 Taliban prisoners.
According to a member of the Afghan government’s negotiating team, as cited by AFP, the release was delayed because the government did not want to include fifteen of the Taliban’s ‘top commanders’ in the list of those who would be freed.
The US will completely withdraw from Afghanistan by mid-2021, if the Taliban abides by conditions outlined in a February 29th agreement.
The Taliban must help keep terrorists from operating in Afghanistan and hold talks with the Kabul government, among other terms of the agreement made public.
However, Taliban attacks on Afghan forces, disagreements over prisoner exchanges and political infighting have hampered the peace process.
Just days earlier, the U.S.’s top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller, and U.S. Special Envoy Zalmay Khalilzad visited Pakistan to discuss peace efforts with the country’s officials.
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