The Taliban has a released a series of statements threatening the Afghan elections this week. The statements are attributed to three different commissions within the Taliban’s Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan, which operates as a shadow government throughout much of the country.
General Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, was present at the meeting but was not wounded. The the governor of Kandahar and the head of the province’s National Directorate of Security were among those killed. The assassination of Raziq is a major blow to the Afghan government. He was arguably the most powerful player in the Afghan south and a stalwart ally of the US, and he may not be easily replaced.
While the Taliban’s claim of controlling districts in Samangan and Paktika cannot be independently verified, the group has proven to be accurate when reporting on the status of districts.
The Taliban says its representatives met with an American delegation in Doha on Oct. 12. The group says that members of the “Political Office” of the “Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan” stressed that the “presence of foreign forces” is “the greatest obstacle obstructing true peace and solving problems.” The Taliban’s overall leader previously blessed “direct dialogue” with the Americans, so long as the talks focused on an American withdrawal.
Scores of Taliban recruits train in broad daylight at the Abu Ubaidah bin Jarrah Training Camp.
The US wants the Taliban to lay down its arms and recognize the legitimacy of the Afghan government. The State Department has even encouraged the group to “turn their bullets and bombs into ballots” and “vote.” But in a new statement, the Taliban again rejects Afghanistan’s parliamentary elections, saying it is a “demand of our faith” that they be “prevented from taking place.”
The Afghan military was either unable or unwilling to secure the crash site and recover the bodies of its soldiers at least 10 hours after the helicopter went down.
The Taliban has released yet another video showing their fighters gathering in the open after overrunning a military base without fear of reprisal from NATO or Afghan warplanes.