Small Wars Journal

Taliban Kill Dozens of Afghan Soldiers After Cease-Fire Lapses

Taliban Kill Dozens of Afghan Soldiers After Cease-Fire Lapses by Craig Nelson, Habib Khan Totakhil and Ehsanullah Amiri – Wall Street Journal

KABUL - Taliban fighters killed dozens of government soldiers in overnight attacks on two security checkpoints in northwestern Afghanistan, authorities and medical personnel said Wednesday, in the insurgent group’s first major assault since refusing to extend an unprecedented three-day cease-fire.

Hundreds of militants launched the coordinated assault on the guard posts in Badghis province, on Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan, early Wednesday, then ambushed two armored vehicles sent to aid the troops during the four-hour siege, destroying the vehicles and killing those inside, according to a government soldier and Abdul Aziz Beg, head of the provincial council.

At the time of the Taliban attacks, government forces were observing a cease-fire called by Afghan President Ashraf Ghani. The assaults were a shock, and came just days after Taliban fighters and government soldiers celebrated the Muslim festival of Eid al-Fitr together during overlapping unilateral cease-fires, taking selfies and reveling in the occasion to a degree that surprised even the most jaded observers of the 17-year war.

The Taliban announced on Sunday it wouldn’t extend its truce, though there were indications in three eastern provinces—Paktia, Logar and Paktika—that local commanders were continuing to observe it…

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