Confronting Taliban offensive
In Afghanistan government forces are fighting against the Taliban in several major cities, bombing militants in an effort to halt their advances toward provincial capitals. The Afghan army has deployed hundreds of commandos in cities like Heart where fierce street battles are underway between troops and the militants. In Lashkar Gah province, authorities have called for more soldiers to repel an offensive. Earlier on Sunday, the militants said they hit the Kandahar airport with three rockets, causing all flights to be cancelled. The Taliban said the military used the airport to conduct airstrikes against them. The militants have recently launched sweeping attacks in several fronts to gain control of as many areas as they possibly can.
Nigerien soldiers slain
Fifteen soldiers have been killed, seven wounded and 6 missing in an attack in southwest Niger. The troops were first ambushed in the town of Torodi near the border with Burkina Faso. Then they were hit by an improvised explosive device as they tried to evacuate the wounded. The Nigerien Defense Ministry has described the incident as a terrorist attack. Torodi is in the southwest of the Tillaberi region which lies along the borders of Niger, Burkina Faso and Mali. The region has been subject to frequent attacks by militant groups which increasingly target civilians.
US coronavirus situation
Top US infectious disease expert Anthony Fauci has warned that the coronavirus situation in the United States is set to get worse. Fauci made the remarks in an interview with US media as the country grapples with a surge in the delta variant of the COVID-19. He said 100 million people in the country who are eligible to be vaccinated are not getting jabs, calling it an outbreak of the unvaccinated. Despite his warning, the official said the he doesn’t think lockdowns are likely to return. More than 164 million people or 50 percent of the total US population are fully vaccinated. However infections are soaring especially in states with lower vaccination rates.