Conflicts & War

Several killed in clash between Afghan gov’t soldiers, insurgents

Kabul, Aug 3 (EFE).- At least two members of the Taliban government’s security forces and several insurgents were killed Wednesday in a clash in a mainly Shiite neighborhood of this capital, authorities said.

Fighting raged for more than four hours until the security forces stormed the hideout of the insurgents, killing a number of them and capturing one, Kabul police spokesman Khalid Zadran told Efe.

Two soldiers died and four others were wounded, he said.

The insurgents “threatened civilian objectives in various parts of the country, including Kabul,” Zadran said.

Security forces were conducting an operation in the Karete Sakhi district, whose Shiite residents have been targeted in the past by Islamic State (ISIS).

The operation came days after the start of Musharram, frequently described as the second-holiest month of the Muslim calendar after Ramadan.

Musharram includes Ashura, perhaps the single most significant observance for Shia Muslims, who IS and other Sunni militant groups regard as apostates.

ISIS claimed responsibility for several attacks on the Shiite community in Kabul during Ramadan, including the April 21 bombing at a mosque that left 12 people dead and 34 injured.

Days after the strike on the mosque, six people perished and 15 were wounded in blasts at schools serving the mainly Shiite Hazara ethnic minority.

Since seizing power nearly a year ago as the United States ended its military presence in Afghanistan after nearly two decades ago, the Taliban have struggled to suppress ISIS and other terrorist factions in a bid to show that they can bring peace to the country. EFE lk-hbc/dr

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