Weekly Brief Feb. 26 -- Mar. 04

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Last week, the Taliban launched sweeping door-to-door residential buildings across Kabul city and its surrounding provinces, including Kapisa, Parwan, and Panjshir on Friday. They deployed troops in every corner of Kabul and established multiple additional mobile checkpoints. They further extended their searches to Baghlan, Takhar and Faryab provinces. In one of those searches, Kabul Traffic Department’s former chief died of a heart attack after the Taliban entered his house. In another shocking move, the Taliban banned all Afghans from traveling abroad without having a valid reason. They also barred women from solo (without Mahram) traveling overseas.


Arbitrary arrests continued in Baghlan provinces and other regions as the Taliban detained and tortured seven civilians in Baghlan. They also arrested and tortured a former NDS soldier in Helmand. Taliban gunmen arrested former Kandahar Provincial Council secretary and kept him in custody for two weeks. In a single anti-IS-K raid, they arrested a Tajikistani national on suspicion of having links with IS-K from Kabul.


Taliban gunmen also opened fire on a wedding car in Kunar, killing a passenger. They killed another civilian after opening fire on a group of youngsters in Takhar. In a raid on a wedding hall in Kandahar, the Taliban arrested a group of musicians. In a clash between two local commanders in Badakhshan, two students were killed in the crossfire. Taliban also shot dead a former officer in Panjshir.


Shootings involving unidentified assailants remained unabated, in particular in Herat province. In three separate incidents, armed men fatally shot an engineer, killed a tribal elder, and gunned down a former military soldier. In Faryab province, gunmen shot dead a tribal elder. Only in one recorded shooting, IS-K gunmen shot and killed a Taliban soldier in Kunduz.


Several mysterious killings were also recorded. A child and an elderly man were found dead in Farah. A man’s burned body was discovered in Baghlan, with signs of strangulation. Another civilian was found dead in Nangarhar.


There were casualties resulting from explosions. A roadside bomb blast killed a child along the Kandahar-Uruzgan highway. Two children died when a mortar shell exploded in Kunduz. In Kabul, an IED detonated near a Taliban mobile checkpoint with no casualties reported.


As part of their strategic maneuvers, the Taliban abandoned at least ten checkpoints in Andarab districts in Baghlan and relocated their troops to the district center. Moreover, two of their military helicopters made an emergency landing in Panjshir after an attack by NRF forces.


Protests were rarely seen in Afghanistan amid Taliban suppression. Only a number of former Supreme Court judges held a sit-in in Kabul in protest against their unemployment, but Taliban forces immediately dispersed them. Another rally was held in Daikundi against unfair aid distribution, and protesters accused the Taliban of giving food aid to their relatives. In Baghlan, the Taliban were accused of dismissing all representatives of private contractors of bus and vehicle terminals in Baghlan and replacing them with their own men.