A Taliban suicide bomber killed himself and eight fellow jihadists on Tuesday after setting off his explosives vest prematurely while organizing coordinated attacks in Afghanistan’s Kunduz province.
“The jihadist fighters had been ordered to carry out an attack in Kunduz city, Afghanistan, but all died before they got there,” reports Daily Mail.
Citing the Afghan Ministry of Interior (MOI), the report adds, “However, one of the militants detonated his vest shortly after leaving a Taliban base in Dasht-e-Archi, triggering everyone else’s explosives.”
Last year, the Taliban briefly occupied Kunduz, Afghanistan’s fifth largest city and the capital of the province of the same name. It was the first provincial capital to fall into the hands of the Taliban since the terrorist group was ousted in the 2001 U.S. invasion.
“A local official said Monday that many villages in Kunduz’s Dasht-e-Archi district had been cleared of the Taliban, but holdouts remained in some of the rural villages,” reports Stars and Stripes. “Operations were underway to remove them, local police spokesman Hijratullah Akbari said.”
Daily Mail quoted the Taliban as saying they stopped their Kunduz offensive this month because they had seized four “important points” outside the city and wanted to avoid civilian casualties.
“Local residents are now gradually leaving for safer places and the moment our fighters get approval from central leadership, they will start (the) advance,” reportedly said Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban’s main spokesman.
The botched suicide bombing is not unprecedented, reports Khaama Press.
“Earlier, a group of 10 militants were blown up by their own explosives as they were busy making an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) in southeastern Ghazni province,” notes the report.
“According to the security officials, the militants were busy making the IED inside a mosque in Andar district when their explosives went off prematurely, leaving all 10 militants dead,” it adds.
IEDs, or homemade bombs, are the weapon of choice used by the Taliban and other insurgents to target Afghan and U.S.-led security forces.
“The IEDs are the main contributors to the casualties of the Afghan security forces but are also considered as a key factor in growing civilian casualties,” notes Khaama Press.
Taliban fighters have stepped up their insurgency since President Obama declared an end to the U.S.-led combat mission in December 2014.
Stars and Stripes notes that the U.S. Forces-Afghanistan announced on Tuesday that they were searching for information about eight other jihadists from the Haqqani network and the Taliban that were “known to be planning attacks on the Afghan people” in four Afghan provinces, including the capital, Kabul.
“The announcement of an attack being planned in Kabul came a week after a massive complex suicide bombing outside Afghanistan’s main intelligence agency killed 64 people, including many civilians,” adds the report.
The Taliban’s alliance with al-Qaeda in Afghanistan is reportedly “growing stronger.”