As Afghan government and Taliban representatives resumed their peace negotiations in Qatar, violence continue to unfold in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, in the wake of a deadly attack unleashed by the East Indonesian Mujahideen (MIT) in Sulawesi, Indonesia is on alert.
Earlier this week, the MIT orchestrated an attack against a village in the sleepy Lembantongoa hamlet in Sigi, Central Sulawesi, which caused hundreds of residents to flee their homes. The pro-Daesh militants torched homes and killed four farmers who were members of the local Salvation Army Church – one of them was decapitated while another was immolated. This latest episode was one of the most violent incidents ever launched by the MIT under Ali Kalora’s leadership. The presence of MIT in Sigi may also be an indication that MIT is moving out of Palu and Poso areas due to the active counterterrorism operations conducted in the two areas. In response to the spate of MIT violence in the region, the Indonesian National Armed Forces (TNI) sent a reinforcement of 30 people to Poso to aid the ongoing counterterrorism operation, Operation Tinombala.
Meanwhile, in Afghanistan, a suicide car bomber struck an army commando base in Ghazni, killing 31 people and injuring 24 others. All of them were security personnels. The attacker, who was later identified as Asmatullah Hamid, had detonated a Humvee filled with explosives. The attack was believed to have been masterminded by Hamza Waziristani, a Taliban militant. That very evening, the Afghanistan army succeeded in hunting and killing Waziristani in eastern Ghazni. Seven other terrorists were also killed during the air strike. In a separate incident on the same day, another suicide bomber detonated a vehicle in Qalat in the southern region of Zabul, targeting the provincial council chief, Atta Jan Haqbayan, who survived the attempted assassination.