Violence has expanded to 28 provinces out of 34 provinces in Afghanistan in the last 24 hours amidst the constant delays in the start of direct peace negotiations between the two parties -- the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan and the Taliban.
According to Tolo News, the Taliban attacked the security outposts in the northern province of Kunduz on Thursday that killed at least one security force member and injured three, as per information provided by local officials.
"Intense fighting continues since last night between the Afghan National Security and Defense Forces and the Taliban," said Rabbani Rabbani, member of Kunduz provincial council, as quoted by Tolo News and added, "People are extremely distressed about violence." The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces have inflicted heavy casualties to the Taliban, said the Afghan Defence Ministry. "The Taliban staged attacks on the checkpoints and bases of the government forces in 28 provinces over the past 24 hours, but the government forces repelled their attacks and inflicted heavy casualties to them," the spokesperson of the ministry said.
In October, the Taliban launched a brazen attack on Lashkargah city, the center of Helmand province in southern Afghanistan.
Provinces including Uruzgan, Badghis, Badakhshan, Baghlan, Balkh, Paktia, Takhar, Jawzjan, Khost, Zabul, Sar-e-Pul, Ghazni, Ghor, Faryab, Farah, Kabul, Kapisa, Kunduz, Kandahar, Kunar, Laghman, Logar, Maidan Wardak, Logar, Nangarhar, Nuristan, Nimroz, Herat and Helmand, have witnessed a fresh spike in violence.
There is rising concern among the people of Afghanistan over the slow progress in the Doha peace negotiations.
"They are not interested in peace. If they are really committed to peace, both sides should announce a ceasefire," said Ahmad, a Kabul resident. "Our elders went to Doha and some other areas to discuss peace, but their peace does not make any sense," said another Kabul resident as quoted by Tolo News.
The United Nations reported this week that violence has "continued to remain high" despite the peace efforts. The report showed that 2,117 civilians were killed in conflicts and attacks in Afghanistan over the last nine months.
"Whenever there is a rise in casualties, it creates disappointment and mistrust among the people about achieving peace," said Nasir Ahmad Andisha, Afghan ambassador to Geneva, as quoted by Tolo News.
Indian Ministry of External Affairs Spokesperson Anurag Srivastava on Thursday said India's efforts to assist Afghanistan through the Chabahar port were appreciated by the United States during the recently concluded 2+2 Ministerial dialogue.
Speaking at the weekly media briefing, Srivastava said: "Our development assistance and multi-modal connectivity infrastructure and trade linkages that have been built and our efforts in this regard through our development assistance to Afghanistan to sustain the growth and development there over the long term was something which was appreciated by the US side."