At least 11 civilians, including three children, died in an attack on a bus in northwestern Afghanistan, said on Sunday (6) Hessamuddin Shams, governor of Badghis province, where the attack took place. .
The governor accused the Taliban of hiding a roadside bomb, which exploded as the bus passed. On impact, the vehicle crashed into a provincial ravine, located on the border with Turkmenistan and marked by a mountainous formation.
No group, including the Taliban, claimed responsibility for Saturday’s attack – hours before Taliban leaders and UN officials meet in Qatar to discuss the Afghan peace process, the safety of diplomats and people working for humanitarian agencies in Afghanistan.
The country is experiencing a context of uncertainty and violence, generated by the announcement that American troops, after two decades, will be completely withdrawn by September 11. Since then, the Taliban, a radical Islamic faction trying to regain power in the country, have launched a campaign to expand their influence.
Saturday’s attack comes a week after four other attacks on passenger minibuses in Shiite neighborhoods in the Afghan capital Kabul, which left more than 12 dead.
Two of these episodes were claimed by the Islamic State (IS) terrorist group, whose fighters – present, according to the UN, in the east and north of the country – specifically target the Hazara Shiite minority.
At the same time, the Taliban have stepped up their offensives against Afghan army positions in many provinces, especially around Kabul.
On Saturday, insurgents announced that they had conquered Deh Yak district of Ghazni province, about 150 kilometers south of the Afghan capital. Ghazni is part of an axis that connects Kabul to Kandahar, the large province and capital of the south of the country, stronghold of the Taliban. Authorities, however, said they had only transferred their forces to another area.
In mid-May, the Taliban seized a strategic neighborhood on the outskirts of Kabul. Located less than an hour from the Afghan capital, the district of Nerkh in the province of Wardak has long been used as a point of access to the city or as a base for launching attacks. About 60,000 people live there.
On May 8, more than 50 people died and around 100 were injured in a district in the west of the capital after a series of bombs exploded in front of a girls’ school.
After the end of a Communist-biased government in Afghanistan in 1992, a violent civil war between local factions that destroyed part of Kabul brought the Taliban into control of the country. With the support of Pakistan, they managed to seize power in 1996 and implement their radical rules, such as the ban on music. They also approached Al-Qaeda and Osama bin Laden, already wanted before September 11.
With the attacks on the Twin Towers in 2001, the United States started a war on terrorism that led to the invasion of Afghanistan and the overthrow of the Radical Power Group. In a very unstable scenario, which has never stabilized since the installation of American troops in the country, the government currently led by Ashraf Ghani is trying to contain the return of the Taliban to the command of the country.
After US President Joe Biden’s announcement, US troops began to leave the country in early May, as part of a withdrawal process that lasts until September.