Afghanistan was tumultuous last week, with 66 security incidents recorded by the Afghan Peace Watch (APW) involving Taliban, IS-K, and armed assailants. Despite the number of incidents decreasing from 88 to 66 compared to the week prior, civilian casualties shot up to 48 from 36.
Some significant instances include three civilians being killed in Nangarhar in Taliban raids and a prisoner succumbing to injuries under Taliban torture. In a sporadic shooting in Takhar, Taliban forces killed three child laborers. In Kandahar, they fatally shot an ex-soldier and two civilians. An ex-police chief and a soldier were shot dead by gunmen. Unknown assailants killed three civilians in a shooting in Laghman. An ex-civil servant was mysteriously murdered in Lashkargah.
Explosions and bombings were also rampant. At least nine civilians were killed in a bombing on a minivan in Herat. A landmine blast killed a child and injured three people in Kunar; another child was killed and two injured in a mortar shell blast in Helmand, where a second explosion wounded three civilians.
The Taliban’s crackdown on and arrests of ex-security forces and former government employees also picked up speed. In two significant raids in Mazar Sharif, 100 female judges, former government and NGO employees were arrested, and a dozen women have disappeared in Kandahar. Their arrest campaign intensified in Baghlan province – a hotbed of anti-Taliban resistance – after Taliban militants attacked a National Resistance Front hideout, killing six soldiers. However, in Panjshir, NRF forces were a thorn at the Taliban’s side as they staged at least a dozen rocket and gun attacks on Taliban bases.
This is while the UN secretary-general recently said that 100 former Afghan security personnel were slain since the Taliban seized power and over 27 ANA soldiers were captured in Kandahar; and another 50 people were killed by IS-K. UN recorded 44 arrests and beatings by the Taliban since August.
Taliban were also dealt a blow in several provinces. Five of them were critically wounded after their car rammed into a roadside bomb in Nangarhar. Gunmen killed a Taliban commander in Takhar, and another Taliban soldier was killed in a shootout with unknown assailants in Kandahar. In another shooting in Mazar Sharif, gunmen killed two Taliban fighters.