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The Battle for Mamand: ISKP under strain, but not yet defeated 

In recent weeks, the Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) has lost a significant part of its stronghold in Nangrahar as well as several senior commanders and its overall leader, Sheikh Abdul Hasib. Its losses have been mounting steadily since early April when American and Afghan special forces intensified their campaign against the group. This included […]

Education and Health Care at Risk: UN report paints grim picture of post-transition Afghanistan

A new UN report highlights how access to healthcare and education in Afghanistan, particularly for children, is being increasingly compromised by violence, threats, intimidation and abuse of facilities. The number of verified incidents over the last three years (2013-2015) in particular shows an increase in recorded incidents of threats and intimidation, as well as a continued […]

Operation Omari: Taleban Announced 2016 Spring Offensive

The Taleban made their yearly spring offensive announcement on 12 April 2016. The statement attributed to Taleban leadership council (Rahbari Shura) named the offensive “Operation Omari,” in honour of the movement’s late leader and provides clues with regard to both the Taleban’s plans and the way they wish to present themselves. Of particular note are the […]

When and Why to Catch a TTP Leader: Faqir Muhammad’s Arrest

The capture last week of a prominent Pakistani militant in the Afghan province of Nangrahar by Afghan police and intelligence has made a sensation in both countries, being widely interpreted as a positive step for diplomatic relations and cooperation. But it also led to controversial commentaries by some observers. The presence inside Afghanistan of Pakistani […]

The Civilian Casualty Tightrope: Karzai Bans ANSF Calling in ‘Foreign’ Airstrikes on Villages

In a blistering speech on 16 February 2013, President Hamed Karzai called requests to foreigners by Afghan security forces for airstrikes on Afghan villages ‘shameful’.(1) His office said that tomorrow, he will issue a decree formally banning requests for strikes on what is being described in the English press as ‘residential areas’. The president’s move […]