Taliban and Afghani leadership are currently meeting in Kabul for the first Loya Jirga since the militant group took power in September 2021 amid the dramatic U.S. and coalition withdrawal from the country. The Loya Jirga (Pashto for “grand assembly”) is a specially convened meeting of tribal elders, now led by the Taliban.
The gunmen reportedly began their attack with grenades and attempted to storm the entrance at Kabul Polytechnic University in Police District 5 of Kabul at 0449 EST. Afghan National Resistance Front officials announced they commenced a special operation against the meeting with the intent to kill Taliban leader Hibatullah Akhundzada, who was reportedly at the meeting.
By 0525 EST, Taliban officials announced that security forces had killed the two gunmen. At the same time, pro ANRF social media users proclaimed that the gunmen had killed Taliban Chief Justice Abdul Hakim Ishaqzai who was convening the meeting, but this has not been confirmed. Taliban spokesperson Zanihullah Mujahid followed with a statement saying Akhundzada would attend the all-male meeting and that 12,000 security forces personnel were protecting the site. This security is needed as the Taliban has been struggling to maintain control over the country where ISIS and the ANRF have carried out several attacks and have claimed the lives of more than 500 Taliban fighters in the last 6 months.