The Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan Taliban appear to be making progress in negotiations at least getting a response from the so-called Deputy Interior Minister and have extended the deadline on the Koreans until 12:00 noon Friday amid reports of heavy fighting throughout the country.
In their previous statement Wednesday, the Islamic Emirate made clear that they will not tolerate any more delays in negotiations. Following the execution of one of the captives, Han Que, it appears that Kabul are under greater strain from the Korean government to meet the Taliban demands of a prisoner exchange and withdrawal of Korean forces who are currently scheduled to leave the country at the end of 2007.
The new statement, a copy of which has been received by JUS reads:
“The Deputy Interior Minister asked us to give them extra time until tomorrow 12:00 (0730 GMT) to be able to handle the issue. The Emirate Shura Council has agreed to extend the deadline and Taliban Mujahideen have extended until noon Friday.
Again, we ask that the Korean government, public and parliament to put pressure on the Karzai government to alter the Korean’s fate.”
Fierce Battle In Lowgar Province
Meanwhile, Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid reported that a fierce battle broke out yesterday afternoon in Lowgar province between Mujahideen from the Islamic Emirate and foreigner occupation forces following an attack on an NATO convoy. The battle raged for over two hours with 2 NATO reported killed and several vehicles were destroyed. There were no specific details of casualties in the report.
According to the same report, four US vehicles were also destroyed in Paktika last night when Mujahideen from the Islamic Emirate fired a rocket launcher at a convoy of US vehicles who were carrying out an operation in the area. Four US vehicles were completely destroyed instantly burnt. As morning came, another vehicle was destroyed as the Americans endeavored to renter the area but were ultimately forced back without difficulty after the Mujahideen attack.
Two US checkpoints were forcibly removed in Kunar province Thursday following a close range attack by Mujahideen from the Islamic Emirate. The US check point commander, along with his security detail, was killed and the Mujahideen seized all the military equipment as war booty. The checkpoint is now under the control of the Mujahideen according to the report by Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid.
Later on Thursday afternoon in Khost, Mujahideen from the Islamic Emirate destroyed an occupation forces vehicle with a remote-controlled landmine as it was patrolling as part of a NATO convoy. The report specified that the vehicle has been blown to pieces and all those onboard were killed.
Fourteen Soldiers Killed In Wardak
According to a report filed by Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf, Mujahideen from the Islamic Emirate fired mortar shells on a joint forces convoy in the in Jaghato district of Wardak province. In the attack, 14 soldiers were killed including one NATO soldier and 26 others were injured. The Mujahideen seized weapons as war booty.
Last evening Mujahideen attacked a mercenary army check post in the Salar area of same province. The post was demolished, a soldier was killed and six more were injured. Ten weapons were seized as war booty according to the same report.
Three Oil Tankers Seized In Ghazni
Taliban spokesman Qari Yusuf also reported that at 5:30 pm today, three US oil tankers were seized as booty on the Kandahar Kabul highway near the Janda Bazaar in the Gelan district of Ghazni province. The soldiers guarding the tankers fled and the drivers were capture and are currently being investigated.
Earlier at 3:30pm today, Mujahideen from the Islamic Emirate destroyed a NATO tank as it was trying to enter the Zambilay area of Gerishk district of Helmand province that is under the control of the Mujahideen. The tank was destroyed and all those on board were killed according to the same report.