Weekly brief covering first week of January


In Afghanistan, anti-Taliban protests continued across five provinces last week. Women assembled outdoors and in closed spaces in Kabul, Parwan, Kapisa, Baghlan, and Badakhshan to condemn the Taliban’s suppressive stance on women’s rights, demanding restoration of their rights.

The de facto Taliban administration was harsh towards civilians; they arrested former government employees and civilians in Kabul, Badghis and Takhar and recently caught their outspoken critic, Professor Faziullah Jalal. Jalal appeared on TV shows, unleashing broadside against the Taliban for their atrocities and oppression. Meanwhile, the de facto administration harassed and beat up civilians, including an elderly man in Badakhshan and Kabul and killed an ex-police chief in Kandahar. Further to the trend of forced disappearances, several ex-army members have gone missing from Zabul and Kabul, including a former election commission official.

Moreover, two civilians were injured in three separate explosions that targeted Taliban convoys in capital Kabul city. Also, anti-Taliban forces attacked two Taliban bases in Panjshir and Parwan, and killed two in an attack in Takhar. Taliban also raided several IS-K hideouts and arrested four terrorists, including their commander and freed a hostage in Nangarhar in addition to seizing a huge cache of weapons.

Shootings involving unknown gunmen were at their peak last week. In separate incidents, assailants shot and injured a former parliamentarian in Kabul, killed a civilian in Lashkargah, and injured a mosque imam in Baghlan. In Uruzgan, unidentified gunmen shot dead an ex-army commander and kidnapped an ex-soldier in Kandahar. A civilian was similarly killed by armed men in Kunduz.

In the west, Herat city saw a rise in kidnappings and shootings too. Incidents ranged from kidnappers abducting a shopkeeper to killing civilians, including a businessman, in the province.