Taliban captures more than 70 Afghan police in attack near the capital

The Afghan Taliban captured more than 70 Afghan policemen and took over a number of outposts after clashing with security forces in Jalrez district in the province of Wardak, just south of Kabul. The Afghan government is maintaining its unilateral ceasefire despite the current Taliban offensive.

The Taliban, in a statement released on its official website, claimed it “seized control [of] 13 posts and 1 base from the enemy” and “dozens of the enemy suffered casualties” and “72 surrendered themselves to Mujahideen after putting up a small resistance.”

Additionally, the Taliban said it destroyed six “tanks,” including four in an IED attack and two in “rocket fire” (likely RPGs) as Afghan forces attempted to reinforce the beleaguered Afghan forces. The “tanks” are likely US-supplied Humvees. The Taliban also claimed it seized a large quantity of weapons and war material, including “a pair of night vision binoculars.”

Afghan officials backed up a portion of the Taliban’s claim. Two members of Wardak’s provincial council confirmed the Taliban more than 80 members of the Public Order Police were captured after what was described as light fighting, Deutsche Welle reported. One provincial council member accused police commanders of being in “collusion” with the Taliban and watching cricket matches together at police checkpoints.

Jalrez directly borders Kabul province and is a short distance from Kabul City, the capital of Afghanistan. Jalrez district has been contested for more than two years, according to an ongoing study by FDD’s Long War Journal. Of Wardak’s seven districts, three are Taliban controlled and three more are contested.

The Taliban attack in Wardak is but one of many since the Taliban ended its three-day ceasefire that began at the end of Ramadan. The Afghan government, along with the US military, has extended its ceasefire, but the Taliban rejected it and immediately resumed fighting. In one of its more spectacular attacks since the resumption of fighting, the Taliban overran a military base in Badghis province and killed more than 30 Afghan soldiers.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense claimed that the Taliban has launched attacks in 10 provinces over the past four days as the Afghan military honors the government’s unilateral ceasefire and the military remains on the defensive. However, the Afghan military is clearly understating the extent of the Taliban’s offensive.

Just today, the Taliban claimed on “Voice of Jihad” that it launched attacks in 15 provinces (Baghlan, Daykuni, Ghazni, Helmand, Jawzjan, Kabul, Kapisa, Kunar, Kunduz, Logar, Nangarhar, Paktia, Paktika, Uruzgan, and Wardak). The Taliban’s claims should be viewed as credible as, while it often inflates casualties, it rarely takes credit for an attack it has not executed. Additionally, these claims can usually be verified by local Afghan press reporting.

The Afghan government has insisted on maintaining its unilateral ceasefire in hopes of sparking peace negotiations, despite the fact that the Taliban is taking advantage of the lull in the Afghan military’s offensive operations to launch its own attacks.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Tags: ,

6 Comments

  • Paddy Singh says:

    There are 2 louts and their yes henchmen responsible for the state in Afghanistan and the Middle East. Yet they cannot be brought on trial because of an impotent UN and because they are ‘white’.

  • irebukeu says:

    From one of the links in the article-TOLO-Meanwhile the Presidential Palace said in a statement that Ghani had a skype conversation with governors and security officials from the 34 provinces on Saturday where the head of state stressed the need for better management of the ceasefire with the Taliban.
    My take on this is Ghani said–“you need to surrender better if they are shooting We need more surrender training.”
    OK, so here is the news from May 17
    “The Taliban has not had the initiative,”
    This was coupled with the news that all Afghan army corps are now on the O for offensive.
    Now we read the military is on the D for defensive.
    It is now safe to infer from the silly things they say that the Taliban is on the offensive and has the initiative.
    Lets see how they spin this.
    Eventually they will blame the Taliban for “kicking someone when they are down” and will prepare an argument that they are”beasts” and “scoundrels”.

  • Steve says:

    Must be about time for the annual NATO Report about how well things are going in Afghanistan.

  • Frank Dunn says:

    Are Afghan government officials using their one sided cease fire to get their belongings together for flights to Pakistan, Turkey and the US?

    More importantly, are the 14,000 US troops plus our Kabul embassy staff at risk if there is a sudden surrender to the Taliban? Do we have enough transport planes available to avoid a retreat over land to Pakistan? Don’t want a repeat of the disastrous British land retreat of 1842.

  • Dennis says:

    Are they serious? A cease-fire by nomenclature is both combatants (or all) ceasing offensive action. When only ONE STOPS , it is usually seen as surrender, or giving up. To continue to stay just to be killed for a government that wants to prove it’s sincerity to it’s enemy,…is beyond all conception. The corruption shown openly in Afghanistan is reminiscent of the Vietnam era, sadly. Carpet bomb or leave. My only regret is of young American men and women paying prices for things we will never own.

  • James says:

    Suckers. Suckers and losers. Suckers for appeasement (both Ghani AND Nicholson). Emboldening our enemies. Putting our troops at increased risk. For a US general with troops in harms way, that amounts to treason. They both need to go.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Iraq

Islamic state

Syria

Aqap

Al shabaab

Boko Haram

Isis