Unidentified gunmen killed three aid workers in Afghanistan’s Parwan province, which lies north of the capital Kabul, the latest in an uptick of violence since the Taliban named a new leader last week.
Two men and a woman working for Focus Humanitarian Assistance were killed in the Ghorband valley on Wednesday, Noor Agha Sameh, the governor of the Sheikh Ali district, said by phone. The assailants fled and government forces have detained three Taliban members suspected to have been involved, he said. Texas-based Focus Humanitarian Assistance didn’t immediately respond to an e-mailed request for comment.
The violence is the latest after the Taliban named Maulavi Haibatullah Akhundzada to succeed ex-leader Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, who was killed by a U.S. drone strike on May 21 near the Afghanistan-Pakistan border. Akhundzada vowed to continue the insurgency and said peace talks would only take place when all foreign troops leave.
Four Taliban suicide bombers attacked a court in Afghanistan’s southern Ghazni province on Wednesday, killing six people. On Tuesday, at least 16 people said to be government employees were killed by Taliban gunmen in the northern province of Kunduz, with the militants still holding hostage more than 30 abducted in a bus hijack.
The war in Afghanistan killed or wounded a record 11,000 civilians last year, taking the total toll to 60,000 since the United Nations began compiling the data in 2009. The conflict against the Taliban, now in its 15th year, has cost the U.S. more than $700 billion and killed more than 2,300 American soldiers.