A Taliban commander, identified as Hanzala, was reportedly killed in an explosion triggered by his own explosives in Afghanistan’s northern Kunduz province on Tuesday.
“The anti-government armed militant groups including Taliban militants have not commented regarding the incident so far,” the Khaama Press Agency reported.
The publication is Afghanistan’s largest news agency and operates in English, Pashto, and Persian.
Khaama noted that armed, anti-government militant groups will often use explosive materials to carry out roadside and car bombings, and to target government officials, often killing civilians.
“A total of 10,453 civilian casualties—3,438 people killed and 7,015 injured—were documented in the 2017 Annual Report released last month by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office,” Khaama wrote.
Last week, Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper reported that a suspected U.S. drone strike killed Qari Abdullah Dawar, a Pakistani Taliban commander, and one of his associates near the Afghanistan border located close to North Waziristan.
Officials reportedly told the media that both slain jihadists were from the Gul Bahadur group.
In April, the Taliban closed at least 30 schools in areas it controls in the south of Kabul after Mualvi Mohammad, a local Taliban militant commander, was killed by government forces several days before. The decision to close the schools reportedly left approximately 12,000 students without access to education.
According to Radio Free Europe, “Salim Saleh, a spokesman for Logar Province’s governor, said on April 6 that the Taliban closed the schools in the province’s Charkh district after several militants and one of their commanders were killed in a night raid by government forces earlier this week.”
On Monday, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo made a surprise visit to Afghanistan where he called on Taliban fighters to hold peace talks with the Afghan government.
“The strategy sends a clear message to the Taliban that they cannot wait us out,” Pompeo said .”An American role will be important in this, but we can’t run the peace talks. We can’t settle this from the outside.”