On March 20, the Afghan military announced a new military operation against the Taliban across the entire country. According to the Ministry of Defense, the operation was launched in line with the new minister Assadullah Khalid’s slogan of eliminating the bastions of the Taliban.
It’s interesting to note that on the next day, March 21, the website of the Taliban news agency, Voice of Jiahd (https://www.alemarah-english.org), was downed. The website on this domain remains offline. However, the Taliban restored it on a new domain on March 22 afternoon.
On March 23, the military stated that 58 Taliban members had been killed in aistrikes in the northern province of Kunduz. The same statement says that 4 soldiers were killed and 5 others were injured in clashes with the Taliban. According to media reports, 13 civilians were killed in airtrikes in the same province.
At the same time, the Taliban has also intensified its actions against pro-government forces in the framework of Operation Al-Khandaq.
According to Voice of Jihad, overnight on March 23, Taliban members carried out coordinated attacks on positions of pro-government forces in the areas of Mobile Khada and Majid Chawk of the Sangin district. The Taliban media wing claimed that 52 pro-government fighters were killed and 11 others were wounded. Taliban members reportedly seized 18 rifles, 3 PKM machine guns, 2 RPG launchers, a sniper rifle, 5 Kalashnikov assault rifles, 2 radios and a notable number of other equipment. According to this version of events, only one Taliban member was wounded.
The Taliban also claimed that 5 foreign troops were killed on March 22 in an attack in the Telawoka area of the provincial capital of Kunduz.
On March 23, at least 3 people were killed and 31 others were wounded in an explosion at a ceremony of Farmer’s Day at a local stadium in the city of Lashkargah, Helmand province.
In the previous months, Afghanistan saw landmark face-to-face talks for peace between the US and the Taliban. However, the Kabul government is yet to be made part of these talks. Amid vague peace process in the war-ravaged country, the end of winter usually means resumption of intense fighting season between the warring sides.
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