Paktia Province, Afghanistan – 25 members of the Taliban were killed in an avalanche Sunday night crossing a mountainous route from Pakistan. The avalanche occurred in the Jaji Ariob District of the Paktia Province in an area known as the Zaghni Valley.
Paktia Police Headquarters spokesman, Mohammad Lal Amiri, remarked that some of the Taliban’s Pakistani commanders were killed in the avalanche. The Taliban has not commented on the incident.
The Taliban is likely preparing for their “Spring Offensive,” where they increase attacks across the country. Amiri, the Paktia Police Headquarters spokesman remarked,
“It is almost the spring season … Taliban are making preparations for their spring attacks, therefore they are now sending fighters from Pakistan to Afghanistan through risky routes.“
Despite the weather forecast showing heavy snow in the days prior to their crossing, the group ventured across the mountains. Most of the bodies of the fighters have been transported back to the other side of the Durand Line. The Durand Line is a border between Afghanistan and Pakistan not recognized by Afghan authorities.
On Monday just after the incident, The Ministry of Defense released a statement that 18 other insurgents were killed and three wounded in a clearance operation in Arghandab and Zherai districts of the Kandahar province in an operation by the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The ANDSF also defused 13 landmines in the districts throughout the operation. The Kandar Province is one of the most unstable provinces in Afghanistan.