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Taliban kill 14 Afghan security forces, hold dozens captive, in raid on police HQ

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Security personnel stand at the site of an explosion in Kabul on June 3, 2021. (Photo by AFP)

More than a dozen Afghan security forces have been killed and dozens of others held captive after the Taliban attacked a police headquarters in southwestern Afghanistan.

The militants raided the police HQ in Qaisar district of the Faryab province on Saturday night, killing at least 14 security forces, said Nader Saeedi, a member of the provincial council.

He said that the Taliban “have taken 37 security force members as captive” after laying siege to the police headquarters.

Saeedi called for reinforcements to be deployed to the area, warning that the militants could capture “more than 30 other security forces” who are under siege.

In another violent incident in the country, at least 11 civilians, including women and children, were killed when a roadside bomb hit a village in Abkamari district in Badghis province, on Saturday, officials said.

District governor Khudadad Tayib blamed the Taliban for the bomb attack, but no group has yet claimed responsibility.

The bomb blast was the latest in a series of violent attacks across Afghanistan, which have seen a sharp rise since the United States missed a withdrawal deadline it had agreed with the Taliban in Doha last year.

All foreign troops were supposed to have been withdrawn by May 1, but US President Joe Biden last month pushed that date back to September 11. The decision caused the talks between the Taliban and Kabul to be suspended.

The Taliban warned that the passing of the May 1 deadline for a complete withdrawal “opened the way for” the militants to take every counteraction they deemed appropriate against foreign forces in the country.

In the latest development, US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad and a delegation of the National Security Council and Department of Defense will meet with Afghan government leaders, politicians, and women’s groups to discuss the peace process, according to the US State Department.

“The delegation will underscore enduring US support for Afghanistan’s development and a political settlement that will end the war,” it said in a statement.

“In Doha, Ambassador Khalilzad will continue to encourage both sides to make tangible progress towards a political settlement that protects the gains of the last two decades,” it added. 

Khalilzad will also meet with leaders from regional countries to discuss the Afghanistan peace process and the potential for increased regional trade, commerce, and development that peace might bring, the statement said.

Representatives from the Taliban and Kabul sat down two times in Doha last month to find a way out of decades of war in the country.

The US, along with its NATO allies, attacked Afghanistan in 2001, claiming that the Taliban were harboring al-Qaeda. The invasion removed a Taliban regime from power but prompted widespread militancy and insecurity across the Asian country. The war has taken countless lives, including of Afghan civilians.


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