OCT 6, 2018: Afghan Taliban and the militant Islamic State (Daesh aka ISIS) clashed in Afghanistan’s Kunar province which straddles Pakistan’s western border with the war-torn country, on Friday, leaving several dead on both sides.
According to a statement released by Afghan military’s 201st Silab Corps, at least four Taliban militants were killed with three others sustaining injuries. ISIS (Daesh) militants also suffered four casualties during the skirmish.
In a separate incident, at least two Afghan security personnel were killed and nine people were injured in two back to back bomb explosions in an eastern neighborhood of Kabul, reported Xinhua.
“A sticky bomb attack targeted a military vehicle at around 7:30am local time, killing two security personnel. The second blast came about 20 minutes after police and rescue team’s arrival, injuring nine people, including three passers-by and six police officers,” said a police official.
The Afghan capital has been rocked by several terror attacks in recent times.
And on Saturday, heavily armed Taliban fighters destroyed bridges near the central city of Ghazni, closing the main highway between the Afghan capital and southern Afghanistan, officials said.
Sporadic clashes erupted between Afghan soldiers and Taliban insurgents who were trying to gain control over parts of Ghazni province nearly two months after being pushed back from the city by U.S.-backed Afghan forces, officials added.
Mohammad Arif Noori, the governor’s spokesman in Ghazni, said fighting was ongoing and the Afghan army had deployed helicopters to prevent the militants from entering the city center.
“We are fully prepared to attack them. This time the province will not fall into the hands of the Taliban,” Noori said.
Five militants were killed as they were planting bombs on three bridges on the Kabul-Kandahar highway, Noori added.
Residents of Qarabagh district, 55 km (35 miles) south of Ghazni city, said the militants had set up checkpoints and did not allow vehicles to pass through several residential areas.
The attack on Ghazni was a show of strength for the Taliban, underscoring how volatile the security situation remains two weeks before the parliamentary elections.
Polling has already been called off in Ghazni province after the Taliban overran it in August and besieged the city for five days.
That confrontation killed 150 Afghan security forces and 95 civilians dead, as well as hundreds of Taliban fighters, said officials then.
President Ashraf Ghani’s Western-backed government pledged US$20 million for relief and reconstruction of Ghazni after security forces defeated the Taliban fighters in that battle.
The security situation in the war-torn country remains precarious in the runup to October 20 general elections.