At least 11 people were killed and dozens of others wounded when the Afghan city of Aybak was rocked by a terrorist attack on Monday, according to the Washington Examiner.
The attack has been described as a car bombing that led to armed members of the Taliban storming the premises of the Afghanistan National Directorate of Security.
“It broke people’s windows three kilometers away”
Speaking with The New York Times, Samangan Province Deputy Governor Sefatullah Samangani described what transpired at the site.
“The blast was so strong that it broke people’s windows three kilometers away,” he said. “The building of the intelligence agency and the municipality building are not usable anymore.”
Afghan President Ashraf Ghani expressed his outrage over the nation’s latest act of terrorism, asserting that “killing people for leverage in negotiations is the worst approach that, unfortunately, the Taliban have taken up.”
“Will strengthen those who oppose peace”
Fox News reported on Tuesday that five U.S. bases are being closed in accordance with a peace deal reached earlier this year with the Taliban.
Terrorist attacks like the one on Monday, however, continue to occur despite the agreement dating back to February that has led to an ongoing exit of American forces.
The U.S. representative who helped negotiate that deal denounced the Taliban strike in a pointed tweet on Monday.
“We condemn today’s attack,” Zalmay Khalilzad wrote. “The use of major explosives to detonate a vehicle in a provincial capital is unacceptable and will strengthen those who oppose peace and plays into the hands of spoilers.”
“Afghans continue to die in large numbers”
He went on to note that violent acts have spiked in the region over recent weeks as “Afghans continue to die in large numbers for no reason.”
As for the peace agreement, Khalilzad wrote that the Taliban attack “contradicts their commitment to reduce violence until a permanent ceasefire is reached in intra-Afghan talks.”
U.S. presence in the country currently stands at an estimated 8,600 troops, down from a high of over 100,000 just a decade ago. If acts of terrorist violence continue in the nation, however, it might be impossible to sustain the current trajectory of withdrawing American forces.