Kabul, Afghanistan – In a Taliban attack, most likely carried by a drone, which killed at least four security officials in northern Afghanistan on Sunday, according to senior and local Afghan officials, representing the group’s public What could be the first known form is the 19-year war.
The attack targeted the governor’s compound in Kunduz, a province that saw heavy fighting in much of the country in recent months, despite peace talks between Qatar’s Taliban and Afghan government negotiators continuing. Local officials said at least eight other people were injured in the blast.
Ghulam Rabbani Rabbani, a member of the Kunduz Provincial Council, said, “The explosion occurred while the Kunduz Governor’s bodyguards were playing volleyball in the Governor’s guesthouse.”
“It’s unclear whether it was an explosion or a missile or drone attack,” he said.
Fazal Karim Aimac, a member of the Afghan parliament from Kunduz, said on his Facebook page that the episode represented “a new pattern of attack”, but did not say whether the drone carried out it.
A Taliban spokesman did not respond to a request for comment.
In recent years, the Taliban’s use of small, over-the-counter drones has been limited to filming attacks for propaganda and reconnaissance. But, according to US officials, remote control devices have not been used for some time, a practice formerly practiced by the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria.
In May, a similar strike took place in the premises of the Kunduz governor, in which one person was killed. At the time, the governor’s spokesman said a missile had struck a farewell party – a large gathering like Sunday’s volleyball game – organized by the governor. But local officials later said they believed a drone would have carried out the attack due to its precise nature.
If the strike on Sunday is actually carried out by an armed drone, it would show the spread of a method of attack that could have widespread and terrible consequences for Afghan, United States and NATO forces.
Authorities in Kunduz said small Taliban drones used for surveillance were often seen in the skies there. In March, Afghan forces claimed Knock down a drone.
Most Afghan security forces, whose morale is already poor, especially fight through stable posts, often in open air posts, which are particularly vulnerable to attacks from the sky.
The US military, as they move to complete withdrawal from Afghanistan – as in a peace deal signed with Qatar’s rebel group on 29 February – limited to combating small, hard-to-detect drones Tools available. Since 2014, the US military in Iraq has dealt with the Islamic State drone threat.
But under the February deal, the Taliban have not attacked American troops from many sides Unclaimed rocket attack At American bases in the south of the country.
This episode comes after the deadliest month for the citizens of Afghanistan since September 2019 The data Compiled by The New York Times. Taliban fighters launched criminals in the south and east of the country, killing at least 212 people.
According to the United Nations report released on Tuesday, about 2,100 Afghan civilians were killed and 3,800 injured in the first nine months of 2020.
Mujib Mashal contributed reporting.