Three Taliban security personnel killed in north Afghanistan blast

Spokesperson says explosion took place as police convoy passing for purpose of opium poppy eradication

Armed Taliban security personnel walk along a wheat field in Argo district, Badakhshan province on May 6, 2024. — AFP/File

  • Explosive-laden motorcycle blew up near military vehicle.
  • Three killed, five other people injured in the blast.
  • Protests roil several districts in Badakhshan province.

KABUL: Three Taliban security personnel were killed when a motorcycle carrying an explosive device blew up near a military vehicle in northern Afghanistan being used in opium poppy eradication operations, an interior ministry spokesperson said on Wednesday.

Protests have roiled several districts in the northern province of Badakhshan where farmers object to Taliban security forces' attempts to wipe out opium cultivation - the backbone of many household incomes in impoverished Afghanistan.

"The explosion took place as the police convoy was passing for the purpose of opium poppy eradication," said interior ministry spokesperson Abdul Matin Qaniee, adding that five other people were injured.

It was not clear who was behind the attack in the provincial capital Faizabad.

National and local Taliban administration spokespeople had said the previous day that calm had been restored to the protest-hit areas and teams sent from the national and provincial capital had held discussions with locals.

The protests, which began late last week, have resulted in the deaths of two people. The Taliban said they were considering providing financial compensation to the victims' families.

The Taliban have said they are seeking to restore order and security to the war-torn nation after taking over in 2021 as foreign forces withdrew.

Nevertheless, attacks have continued and the local branch of militant group Daesh, as well as resistance groups, have claimed attacks on Taliban security forces.