RFE/RL’s Radio Free Afghanistan
July 22, 2020
Eight Afghan security personnel, including three senior security officials, were killed by a roadside bomb in a central district targeted by the Taliban as violence in the country continues to surge despite a peace deal.
The eight security officers were on their way from an army base in the Khas Uruzgan district of Urozgan Province to the local police headquarters on July 22 when their Humvee tank hit a roadside bomb, provincial authorities told RFE/RL.
District police chief Dad Gul, a commander of local police in Khas Uruzgan, and a senior officer of the Afghan National Army were among those killed, Khan Mohammad, a commander at the district base, told RFE/RL. Several other members were injured.
The Taliban have controlled the roads leading to the area for more than eight years and have been carrying out large-scale operations. The Afghan forces stationed there are often supplied by air as the roads are too dangerous.
Mohammad told RFE/RL that dozens of Taliban fighters had gathered from neighboring districts and were planning a massive attack on the district’s headquarters. The spokesperson for the provincial governor Zargai Ebadi said that they would send more security forces to the area in the coming days to boost support.
The July 22 attack is the latest against Afghan forces since a peace deal was signed five months ago. More than a dozen Afghan forces were killed on July 20 in separate attacks.
A peace deal signed by the Taliban and the United States in February calls for direct negotiations between the militant group and the Western-backed government in Kabul aimed at putting an end to the nearly two-decade-old war in Afghanistan.
The Taliban and government forces have been exchanging accusations over a recent surge in attacks across Afghanistan — even as efforts continue to try and bring about the start of direct peace talks between Kabul and the militants.
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