Militants attack Afghan army post near Kabul military academy

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Attack on an outpost near military academy in Afghanistan’s capital has killed at least 11 soldiers and wounded 16 others, a defence ministry official said. Daesh claimed responsibility for the assault.

At least 11 soldiers have been killed and 16 wounded in a battle with several attackers near the Marshal Fahim military academy in Kabul, a defence ministry official said.

The assault came as both the Taliban and Daesh have escalated their attacks on the Afghan capital in recent weeks. Daesh claimed responsibility for this latest incident.

The claim could not be independently verified.

“An Afghan army battalion has come under attack this morning. The attackers wanted to breach the battalion,” defence ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.

“Two bombers detonated themselves and two were killed by our forces and one was detained alive,” the spokesman said adding that the attack was now over.

He further said that Afghan forces had seized a rocket, two Kalashinkovs, and a suicide vest from the attackers.

Officials said the target of the assault appeared to be an army battalion near the academy where high-ranking officers are trained.

An Afghan security source said the gunmen had not managed to enter the heavily fortified compound, which is on the western outskirts of the city.

TRT World spoke to journalist Bilal Sarwary for more.

Monday’s attack comes two days after a Taliban suicide bomber driving an explosives-packed ambulance blew up in a crowded area of the capital, killing at least 103 people and wounding over 200.

It was the worst assault in the Afghan capital since a truck bomb near the German embassy killed 150 people on May 31 last year.

Despite a major tightening in checks following the embassy attack, the ambulance was able to get through the checkpoints, apparently without difficulty.

“People don’t have work, there’s no life for people in Afghanistan, people have to look for a life somewhere else, there’s nowhere,” said shopkeeper Sameem.

Escalation of violence, not only in Kabul

Saturday’s attack, described as “an atrocity” by the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan, drew universal condemnation from allies and neighbouring countries.

It was the latest in an escalation of violence as a resurgent Taliban and increasingly active Daesh battle the Western-backed government of President Ashraf Ghani.

On January 20, Taliban militants stormed the capital’s landmark Intercontinental hotel and killed at least 25 people, the majority of which were foreigners.

An office of the aid group Save the Children in the eastern city of Jalalabad was attacked on January 24.

US response

US President Donald Trump sent more American troops to Afghanistan in 2017 and ordered an increase in air strikes and other assistance to Afghan forces.

He said Saturday’s attack “renews our resolve and that of our Afghan partners.”

US officials have said that the new strategy is putting pressure on the Taliban, and Taliban-affiliated Haqqani Network, which Afghan and Western officials suspect of involvement in at least some of the recent attacks in Kabul and beyond.

However, the Taliban have dismissed any suggestion that they have been weakened by the US approach and say they will only agree to talks when international forces leave Afghanistan.