Taliban militants attacked Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) in Kunduz, Balkh, Uruzgan, and Helmand provinces overnight between Tuesday, March 3, and Wednesday, March 4. Media sources indicate that 18 security personnel were killed and 10 abducted in several attacks across Kunduz, including at an army base at Bagh-e-Sherkat and police checkpoints in Tapa-e-Muarch near Kunduz city. Media reports also indicate militants killed 14 ANSF personnel and wounded dozens in Uruzgan and killed 3 in Balkh.
The Taliban also reportedly suffered significant losses, and the US carried out its first airstrike since Saturday, February 29, in Helmand province, promising to continue providing the ANSF with air support.
The Taliban have carried out over 30 attacks since Monday, March 2, in a dramatic spike in violence following the Taliban's declared cessation of the "violence reduction" period. The resumption of hostilities comes after the signing of the troop withdrawal agreement by the US and Taliban on Saturday 29 in Doha (Qatar).
Taliban militants launch attacks on government personnel, security forces, and civilians in Afghanistan on a near-daily basis. Such assaults are, in part, intended to undermine the perceived capacity of the ANSF - and the Afghan government more broadly - to adequately provide security in the wake of the withdrawal of most US-led NATO forces from the country.
Individuals in Afghanistan are advised to monitor the situation, liaise with their security partner, and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities and their home governments.
The security environment in Afghanistan remains complex. Professional security advice and support should be sought prior to travel.