Weekly Brief Feb. 12 – 18


It was a deadly week, for Taliban attacks increased, and flashpoints of conflict were mostly checkpoints. There were at least a dozen attacks on Taliban checkpoints and outposts in Parwan, Panjshir, Baghlan and Kapisa provinces, where the anti-Taliban National Resistance Force is mostly active. NRF forces attacked a checkpoint in Kapisa province and killed a Taliban commander. In the same province, gunmen attacked a Taliban commander’s house and set it on fire and killed two Taliban members in another attack. NRF soldiers also attacked checkpoints and outposts in Panjshir, and killed 4 Taliban soldiers in an ambush. Taliban were also dealt a blow after a similar attack in Parwan. A roadside bomb in Panjshir killed at least 10 Taliban members. In a new incident in the same province, several of them were killed after native Taliban clashed with Pashtun Taliban. Another internal fighting in Paktika province left scores of their fighters dead and wounded. There was a similar clash in Baghlan province. Several Taliban forces were killed after NRF soldiers attacked their convoy in Qalae Najara of Kabul city.

Further to their arrests and tortures, the Taliban stormed a family gathering in Ghazni province and arrested the head of the family for playing music. In a reprisal move, the Taliban arrested and tortured at least 35 residents of the Andarab district of Baghlan. In another incident, they arrested and tortured seven civilians in Baghlan and demanded money and weapons for their release after they raided several villages. They also beat up workers of Ghori Cement Factory who protested against the non-payment of their salaries. Taliban beat a former television reporter in front of family members in Takhar and harassed a young girl in Baghlan for not wearing hijab. They also arrested a young man in Baghlan for his anti-Taliban views. A former local policeman was also tortured in Kandahar. They stormed a doctor’s house in Baghlan and shot him dead. A doctor was shot and killed at a Taliban checkpoint in Kabul. They shot and killed two brothers in Samangan. Taliban raided a civilian’s house in Mazar-e Sharif city and tortured him for allegedly obtaining weapons and military equipment. The Brother of the Taliban chief of Kandahar’s Andar district abducted a young girl from Ghazni.

This is as journalists in Kandahar province have taken a tough stance against the Taliban for limiting freedom of speech as they can’t work freely. Aside from banning freedom of speech in Kandahar, the Taliban have banned activities of all civil and charity organizations in Nangahar. Businessmen and traders in Aqina Port of Faryab province also staged a protest against extortion by Taliban agents. They shut down the MTN telecommunication network in the Khost district of Baghlan to cut off any contact between NRF and local people. There are also substantiated claims that dozens of Pakistani snipers have entered Panjshir province with the support of the Haqqani network. Their intolerance took a more drastic turn after they stoned a woman and a man in Badakhshan for alleged adultery. Taliban soldiers also chased a three-wheeler rickshaw for refusing their demand to stop, and killed a woman and injured another woman in Kandahar. Taliban have warned people to move out of their villages or face Taliban’s counterattacks if an attack takes place from their villages. Taliban killed a man during a search operation in Jalalabad.

There were numerous shootings involving unknown gunmen targeting civilians and former security force members. Gunmen opened fire on a disabled former border security force and killed him in Kandahar. In another gun attack, two civilians were killed in Helmand, and a civilian shot dead in Mazar Sharif, and a woman stabbed to death in Kandahar.

The nature of demonstrations has also metamorphosed across Afghanistan after several arrests of female civil activists, which ended women protests against the Taliban. Most demonstrations are now focused on moneychangers, wheil there were demonstrations of moneychangers in Kandahar and Helmand. Hundreds of people protested in Ghor, Bamyan, Kabul, Kunduz, Baghlan, Helmand, Herat, Paktika, Khost, Logar, and Maidan Wardak against the US. Several women staged a protest in front of UNAMA headquarters in Kabul on Monday, condemning US President Joe Biden and demanding Afghanistan’s frozen assets release.