The Islamic State (ISIS/ISIL) has claimed responsibility for an attack on an army post near a military academy in the Afghan capital of Kabul that reportedly killed 11 soldiers and wounded 16 others.
“A group of insurgents has launched a coordinated attack on an army unit near a military academy in Kabul earlier this morning [Monday],” Khaama Press (KP) reports. “The ministry of defense spokesman Gen. Dawlat Waziri said a group of five insurgents launched a coordinated attack on a compound of the 111th division of the army in Qargha area.”
Gen. Waziri revealed that two of the terrorists carried out the suicide attack, Afghan soldiers shot two others dead and captured the remaining one alive.
“Militants have killed at least 11 soldiers in an attack on an army post in Kabul, the fourth major assault in a surge of violence in just over a week,” reports BBC. “Sixteen other soldiers were injured in the raid near the main military academy in the west of the Afghan capital.”
The suicide assault is the latest in a series of attacks in Afghanistan that have left scores of people dead in recent days.
“More than 130 people have been killed in four attacks over the past nine days, starting with a deadly hotel siege in Kabul which left at least 22 people dead,” notes CNN. “The Taliban have claimed two attacks while ISIS says it is behind the others, including Monday’s military base assault, raising the possibility of a deadly competition between the two terrorist groups.”
According to the latest independent and U.S government assessment, terrorists, primarily the Taliban, control or contest about 45 percent of Afghanistan.
The Taliban has denied suggestions it has weakened, saying Saturday’s attack was a message to U.S President Donald Trump.
“The Islamic Emirate [Taliban] has a clear message for Trump and his hand kissers, that if you go ahead with a policy of aggression and speak from the barrel of a gun, don’t expect Afghans to grow flowers in response,” Zabihullah Mujahid, a Taliban spokesman, said in a statement, according to Reuters.
“The surge of violence is unlikely to sway the U.S. strategy, or breathe life into stalled efforts to get peace talks going,” Reuters points out. “The U.S. military and the Afghan government say big attacks on civilians are evidence that the militants are being squeezed in the countryside.”
On Saturday, President Trump blasted the Taliban attack, saying it “renews our resolve and that of our Afghan partners.”
The American president wrote on Twitter, “We will not allow the Taliban to win!”
Taliban targeted innocent Afghans, brave police in Kabul today. Our thoughts and prayers go to the victims, and first responders. We will not allow the Taliban to win!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 27, 2018
In September 2017, the United Nations reported that ISIS’s Afghan branch is growing in strength. The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces (ANDSF), which includes police and army units, have suffered the brunt of the casualties in recent years.