At least two civilians were killed and 15 more people were injured after Taliban attacked a third provincial capital in Afghanistan in less than a week. The attack comes as US envoy Zalmay Khalilzad came back to Qatar for unanticipated talks on a deal that was considered done involving The United States of America and Taliban. Farah governor Mohammad Shoaib Sabet said that airstrikes had been executed against the militant group.
This week witnessed an increase in violence that saw two Taliban orchestrated attacks in Kabul after Khalilzad said he and the militant group had come to a mutual decision that would follow the American troops leaving Afghanistan in exchange for Taliban's guarantees in tackling terrorism.
Khalilzad unexpectedly came back to Qatar from Kabul for further talks on September 5 even after he stated that the deal needed the American President's stamp of approval. A few disapproving nods by the government of Afghanistan and the killing of an American Member in the bomb attack on September 5, have increased the level of pressure on the US envoy.
House Foreign Affairs Committee Chairman Eliot Engel has asked Salmy Khalizad to testify before the committee in relation to the negotiations between the US and Taliban. He further added that Khalilzad did not have any other option but to give his testimony at the hearing.
The explanation given by the Taliban for their dangerous attacks including the capitals of northern Kunduz and Baghlan is that it will give them an edge in the dialogues held with the US.
According to a resident, Shams Noorzai, the militant group had taken control of an army recruitment center and burned it down. The shops had their shutters down and a few were trying to run away. The military forces had taken away the recruitment center from the Taliban's control.
Not much information has come to light from the 9 rounds of dialogues between the US and Taliban for over a year. Zalmay stated that the first batch of 5000 troops would empty 5 bases in Afghanistan in 135 days after the final deal is formalized. Afghanistan houses approximately 14000 American soldiers. Although, Taliban wants all of the troops to vacate Afghanistan as soon as possible.
The American side of the deal wants the Taliban to ensure that Afghanistan will not become a protected bubble for terrorists so that attacks on a global level do not take place.
Meanwhile, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani went to the southeastern city of Ghazni after the Taliban in an unexpected attack managed to enter the capital and gain control over many parts of the city.
(With inputs from AP)