Acting Defense Minister Assadullah Khalid has stated that the Taliban’s attack on the 215 Maiwand Corps in the southern Helmand province was plotted on the “other side of the Durand Line”, pointing indirectly to Pakistan.
Khalid made the remarks after a meeting at Bagram Airbase on Monday.
Khalid said the attack, which happened on Friday and went on for 16 hours, left at least 26 dead. The Taliban in a statement claimed responsibility for the attack.
Khalid explained that the attack was carried out by 12 suicide bombers of the Taliban and Jaish-e-Mohammad – based in Pakistan – with contacts on the other side of the Durand Line. “The attack was planned across the Durand Line,” the Acting Defense Minister reiterated.
Gen. Scott Miller, the commander of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan, who is currently attending Doha talks between the US negotiators and the Taliban, also attended the meeting through a video conference.
Khalid added that the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces believe in a dignified peace, but warned that the forces are ready to suppress the Taliban if the group defies reconciliation.
“We will avenge every drop of the blood of our 26 martyred officers. We will also address the issue of negligence,” Khalid reiterated.
“We are planning together. As partners, it has been extremely productive,” said US Army General Randy George, a commander of the Resolute Support forces in Afghanistan. “I have been here before. I am truly impressed with the security leadership that we have right now. We are doing this and meeting at the senior level to make sure that we are aligned, we are synchronized and getting after operations together”, reported TOLO News.