Published:  02:29 AM, 26 July 2020

Taliban defies Doha peace deal

Taliban defies Doha peace deal Reportedly a total of 31 militants have been killed which includes 18 Afghan Taliban and 13 Pak militants belonging mostly to Jaish-E-Muhammad over last few days. -Agency

National Directorate of Security (NDS) and Afghan National Army (ANA) have been jointly conducting clearance operations in Mirza Khel in Khogyani district since 24 July 2020.

The operations are still going on. It is reported that a total of 31 militants have been killed which includes 18 Afghan Taliban and 13 Pak militants belonging mostly to Jaish-E-Muhammad (JeM). These militants are affiliated with Maulvi Sohail of Nangarhar province. One militant has been captured alive who is reportedly from JeM.

Under the Doha peace deal signed between the United States and Taliban in February 2020, the Taliban had committed to reduce violence to help cement concrete steps for intra-Afghan talks. However, according to statistics provided by the Afghan government, 50 security incidents took place per day on average in Afghanistan from around the Reduction in Violence (RiV) week and the signing of the US- Taliban deal in February until late June 2020.

The Afghan government data shows that the Taliban and other anti-govt groups are behind 40 attacks a day while the other 10 are attributed to the Afghan National Security and Defence Forces (ANSDF) and Resolute Support (RS). The Office of National Security Council (ONSC) says that the scale of violence has increased by 34 percent compared to last year.

Five  months  have  passed  since  the  Doha  deal,  but  there  has  been  no announced  date  for  the  start  of  the  intra-Afghan  talks  and  violence  has  also increased, taking many lives of

Afghan civilians and security force members.

The  Taliban  in  the  peace  agreement  with  the  US  committed  to  avoid launching  attacks  on  the  provincial  capitals  and  main  highways  but  has  been accused of violating the Doha agreement because of attacks initiated by the group over the last 20 days.

The Afghan forces launched attacks in various regions  of  the  country,  including  an  air  strike  in  Adraksan  district  of  Herat province  on  Wednesday  (July  22)  night,  in  which  at  least  six  Taliban  local commanders   were   killed.   Acting   Defence   Minister   Asadullah   Khalid   on Thursday (July 23) said that "Taliban were killed in yesterday's Herat strike" and "We will share evidence- including footage - with the media".

However, the residents claim that, at least 8 civilians were killed and nearly 20 others were wounded in the airstrike, which they say targeted a wedding party. Human rights organizations have been expressing their concern over a rising number of casualties among the Afghan civilians.

There have been deadly clashes between the Afghan security forces and the  Taliban  over  the  past  ten  days  in  Ghazni,  Daikundi,  Parwan,  Nangarhar, Herat, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Ghor and Kunduz provinces.

--- Agency

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