Taliban kills 20 Afghan forces. (Photo Credit: Reuters Photo/File)
The Taliban killed at least 20 Afghan soldiers and policemen in a string of overnight attacks, government officials told news agency AFP. The attack came hours after US President Donald Trump spoke to deputy Taliban leader Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar and discussed progress towards achieving peace in Afghanistan. "Taliban fighters attacked at least three army outposts in Imam Sahib district of Kunduz last night, killing at least 10 soldiers and four police," said Safiullah Amiri, a member of the provincial council.
The historic telephonic conversation took place a day after the Taliban ended the partial truce amidst renewed violence in the war-torn country, raising doubt over the intra-Afghan negotiations that are scheduled to begin on March 10.
The attack can also be seen in lines with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani statement: "that there is no commitment to releasing 5,000 Taliban prisoners." Ghani, who is mired in a political crisis following fraud allegations over his re-election, was referring to upcoming talks slated to start March 10, reportedly in Oslo.
Ghani’s questioning of the prisoner release points to tough negotiations ahead in a country still riven by tribal and ethnic rivalries, and where squabbling leaders and warlords seem incapable of finding common ground on important issues.
Washington has pointedly not congratulated Ghani on his election win, announced last week after months of delays, while his top rival Abdullah Abdullah has vowed to set up a parallel administration.
Despite lingering uncertainty about what the deal means for Afghanistan, Kabul residents said they were relieved to walk the streets without fear of Taliban attacks.
(With Agency Inputs)