Afghanistan Analysts Network – English

Posts tagged: Insurgency

Insurgency

One Land, Two Rules (3): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Dasht-e Archi district in Kunduz province

Obaid Ali

Dasht-e Archi, a district in the northeastern corner of Kunduz province is almost entirely controlled by the Taleban. They have established shadow sub-national governance structures in the district, while most local government officials are absent and work remotely from the provincial capital. Although the Taleban do not provide any services themselves, they have co-opted government […]

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One Land, Two Rules (2): Delivering public services in insurgency-affected Obeh district of Herat province

S Reza Kazemi

The matter of who governs the district of Obeh in the east of Herat province is complicated: control of the district is divided between the Afghan government and the Taleban, and shifts in unpredictable ways. The inhabitants of the district, usually via the mediation of elders, have had to learn how to deal with both […]

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Battle for Faryab: Fighting intensifies on one of Afghanistan’s major frontlines

Obaid Ali Thomas Ruttig

An intense battle is under way near the city of Maimana, the capital of Faryab. In this northern province, the Taleban gained control over a majority of districts over 2017, including all of those close to the provincial capital, which is practically under siege. They also threaten the national ring road and important provincial roads. […]

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After the deadly truck bomb that hit Kabul on 31 May 2017. Photo: Andrew Quilty

Five Questions to Make Sense of the New Peak in Urban Attacks and a Violent Week in Kabul

Thomas Ruttig

Between 20 and 29 January 2018, there were five high profile attacks in major cities and districts in Afghanistan. The three by far largest ones happened in the capital Kabul. This feeds into a month-long period of such attacks that began in late December 2017. Altogether, almost 250 people, most of them civilians, were killed […]

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Satellite image of Bahramcha crossing point located in Helmand’s remote Dishu district. Photo: Google Maps

Jihadi Commuters: How the Taleban cross the Durand Line

Borhan Osman Fazl Rahman Muzhary

The Taleban use Pakistan as a sanctuary: most of the movement’s leaders are settled there and it is the movement’s preferred place for training, meeting and as a rear base. It is also the prime destination for ‘rest and recuperation’ (R&R) and the rehabilitation of wounded fighters. But how do the Taleban move between the […]

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The Non-Pashtun Taleban of the North (3): The Takhar case study

Obaid Ali

Despite some recent gains, the Taleban have struggled to establish a stronger foothold in the north-eastern province of Takhar. One of the reasons the movement they failed to do so have been growing tensions and power struggles among its Uzbek and Pashtun Taleban cadres. Strategically, this has left a geographical gap, preventing them from connecting […]

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New Taleban Attacks in Kunduz: Less coordinated, still well-placed to threaten the city

Obaid Ali

In early July 2017, the Taleban carried out several simultaneous attacks against the Afghan security forces in Kunduz province, in an attempt to, once again, inch closer to the provincial centre. The attacks were less coordinated and sustained than they had been in the past years (including in 2015 when Kunduz fell and in 2016 […]

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From ‘Traditionalist’ Islam to ‘Modern’ Islamist Nationalism: A new AAN report about ideology in the Afghan Taleban

Alex Strick-Van-Linschoten

The Taleban’s ideology has transformed over the past two decades. While the movement once typified a ‘traditionalist’ Islam – that is, it sought to articulate and defend a particular concept of Islam found in southern Pashtun villages – it is now, in its insurgency phase, closer to forms of political Islam espoused in the Arab […]

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Former Taleban shadow governor of Faryab, Qari Salahuddin Ayubi, (barefaced with black turban, sitting in the centre) used to be famous for mobilising fighters with fiery speeches in Uzbek. He was arrested by the NDS in September 2015. He was replaced by Mufti Muzafar. (photo: Taleban media)

Non-Pashtun Taleban of the North (2): Case studies of Uzbek Taleban in Faryab and Sar-e Pul

Obaid Ali

The Taleban have spent many years ‘localising’ their fight in the north, recruiting local fighters and commanders and keying in to Afghan Uzbek madrassa networks in Pakistan and the north. That drive has paid off; in the Uzbek-majority provinces of Faryab and Sar-e Pul, the Taleban have gained significant ground against the government. In this […]

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The campus of the American University in Afghanistan, which opened in 2006, came under attack in the evening hours of 24 August 2016. (Photo Source: American University Afghanistan (AUAF) Facebook Page)

The Attack on the American University in Kabul (1): What happened and who the victims were

AAN Team

By the time the attack on the American University in Afghanistan (AUAF) in Kabul on 24 August 2016 ended, 13 people had been killed and 49 wounded, most of them students. Families looking forward to bright futures for their children have been left to bury them or are now waiting anxiously at hospital bedsides. No group […]

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Taleban at the Kunduz junction (2015). Their temporary takeover of the city last year was a defining moment for current developments in Afghanistan's northeast. Photo: Pajhwok

Thematic Dossier XI: Insurgency and governance in Afghanistan’s northeast

AAN Team

Since AAN published its last collection of reports and dispatches about the insurgency in the Afghan northeast, ‘The evolution of insecurity in Kunduz’, in May 2015, there have been tumultuous events, security-wise, in that region. In terms of governance, however, matters are still as dire as they were. Indeed, it can be seen how insecurity […]

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Afghan Islamic State supporters posted this photo: a small group of Daesh-affiliated fighters raising the IS flag inside a mosque in Afghanistan's northeast, they said. Photo: unknown IS supporter on social media.

The 2016 Insurgency in the North: Raising the Daesh flag (although not for long)

Obaid Ali

The flag of the Islamic State (IS, or Daesh) has been flown twice in the last year in Takhar and Baghlan provinces by a group of ethnic Uzbek Afghans who had set up their own insurgent group, Jundullah, in 2009. It had enjoyed an uneasy alliance with the Taleban, but tried to use the turmoil […]

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