JALABAD: On Saturday, a suicide bomber drove a truck loaded with explosives into the Afghan Defense Forces base in the east of the country, killing at least eight security personnel in a Taliban attack.
The pre-dawn attack took place in the restive province of Nangarhar, where many deadly attacks on government forces have been reported by the Taliban.
It came two days after the Pentagon said that the Taliban did not live up to the assurances made last year in an agreement signed with Washington, including minimising abuse and cutting Al Qaeda ties.
As the office of Nangarhar’s governor said in a tweet, the eight were killed when the bomber reached the base with a Humvee.
The deputy head of the provincial council of Nangarhar, Ajmal Omar, acknowledged the attack but reported the number of soldiers dead at 15 with five injured.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid said the attack had been carried out by his party.
The governor’s office said another truck loaded with explosives had been intercepted by security forces near the city of Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar.
Several new deadly attacks carried out by the extremist Islamic State group have been seen in Nangarhar province.
Separately, two roadside bombs detonated on Saturday in Kabul, but police said there were no casualties.
Throughout Afghanistan, insurgency has surged even as the Taliban and the government partake in peace talks that started in September. So far, the talks have failed to produce any significant breakthrough.
Despite reaching an agreement with Washington last year that stipulated that the group do so, the current Biden administration in the United States has accused the Taliban of not reducing aggression.
The agreement allowed the Taliban to stop attacks on US troops, to sharply reduce violence and to facilitate peace talks with the Kabul government.
In exchange, by May 2021, the United States will have gradually lowered its troop levels in the world and withdrawn all forces.
Yet the Pentagon said on Thursday that “the Taliban are not fulfilling their commitments to reduce violence and renounce their Al Qaeda ties.”
The Biden administration is now evaluating the arrangement negotiated in February 2020 by the former Trump government with the separatists in the Qatari capital.