Last week in South Asia and Afghanistan, Taliban forces continued to clash with anti-Taliban groups in multiple provinces in Afghanistan, while rioters raided Taliban administration centers in Nuristan province over the killing of a former police chief. Meanwhile, a suicide bombing at a school in a Hazara neighborhood in Kabul left dozens of people dead. In Pakistan, the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and the Islamic State (IS) engaged in armed clashes with state forces, while unidentified armed groups conducted remote explosive and direct attacks against state forces and civilians in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Meanwhile, the separatist Baloch Liberation Army (BLA) launched grenade and remote explosive attacks against state forces in Balochistan. In India, security forces conducted operations against Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM) militants in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), while Naxal-Maoist rebels engaged in armed clashes and remote explosive attacks in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh states in the Red Corridor. In Bangladesh, clashes broke out between rival political party factions in Rajshahi, Dhaka, and Chittagong divisions.
In Afghanistan, the National Resistance Front (NRF) and Taliban forces clashed in Ghazni, Takhar, and Badakhshan last week. In Badakhshan, clashes continued in Yaftal and Raghistan districts, resulting in the deaths of two Taliban commanders. These trends contribute to the 145% increase in weekly violent events in Badakhshan in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. The Subnational Tracker also warned of increased violence in Badakhshan during the preceding four weeks. Amid the hostilities, a senior Taliban commander and 150 affiliated fighters reportedly joined the NRF, separating from the Taliban due to alleged ‘severe internal disputes’ (Aamaj News, 25 September 2022; Hasht-e Subh, 24 September 2022). Elsewhere, the NRF killed a Taliban commander in Ghazni province, while the National Liberation Front of Afghanistan claimed the killing of six Taliban members in Kandahar (Facebook @aazadagan, 27 September 2022).
In Nuristan province, anti-Taliban demonstrations erupted against the killing of Bahramuddin Nuristani, a former police chief of Mandol district, on 28 September, after locals accused the Taliban of staging his killing (Etilaat e Roz, 29 September 2022). Rioters stormed administration centers in Mandol and Duab districts, reportedly causing Taliban forces to flee. Armed supporters of Nuristani were reportedly also among the demonstrators (Twitter @Akhbar_Afghan, 30 September 2022). Nuristani had previously been accused by the Taliban of helping the NRF, but was acquitted in court (Etilaat e Roz, 29 September 2022).
Meanwhile, over 50 people, mostly students and girls belonging to the Hazara community, were killed when an unidentified suicide bomber detonated their explosives at a school in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul city. More than 100 people were also wounded in the attack. Since the August 2021 Taliban takeover, ACLED records a dozen attacks against civilians in the Hazara Shiite-majority neighborhood of Dasht-e-Barchi perpetrated by IS and unknown groups. The attack triggered protests in Kabul on 30 September, including women-led demonstrations that were dispersed by the Taliban. The Taliban arrested and beat protesters and journalists covering the demonstrations.
In Pakistan, multiple fatalities were reported in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last week, amid TTP and IS clashes with security forces, and targeting of state forces and civilians by unidentified armed groups. Violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa is both common and highly volatile; it is considered an area of ‘extreme risk’ by ACLED’s Volatility and Risk Predictability Index.
In Balochistan, the BLA deployed grenades and remote explosives against state forces in Mastung and Kohlu districts last week, killing two security personnel and injuring others. The BLA also claims to have shot down a military helicopter in Harnai district, resulting in the deaths of six military personnel (Nikkei Asia, 30 September 2022). The Pakistani military, however, claimed that the helicopter crashed due to bad weather (Dawn, 26 September 2022). Meanwhile, the BLA destroyed a mobile tower and gas pipeline in Las Bela and Dera Bugti districts, respectively.
Elsewhere in Balochistan, the Counter Terrorism Department (CTD) conducted an operation against Jamaat-ul-Ahrar militants in Quetta district, killing four militants. The clash came after CTD personnel intercepted a truck during an anti-narcotics operation at a checkpoint on the outskirts of Quetta city. Militants inside the truck reportedly opened fire at CTD personnel, triggering the clash (Dawn, 28 September 2022).
In India, security forces conducted operations against JeM militants in J&K last week, killing five militants. The operations came ahead of the visit of Union Home Minister Amit Shah to review the security situation in J&K (Indian Express, 5 October 2022). Meanwhile, unidentified militants targeted civilians, including non-local laborers, in Udhampur and Pulwama districts, resulting in multiple injuries. These trends contribute to the 100% increase in violent events in Jammu and Kashmir over the past week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker.
In the Red Corridor, Naxal-Maoist rebels engaged in armed clashes with state forces in Maharashtra and Chhattisgarh states last week, resulting in the death of a rebel. Meanwhile, a Central Reserve Police Force personnel was killed in an IED explosion in Chhattisgarh. Naxal-Maoist activity contributes to the 100% increase in violent events in Chhattisgarh over the past week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge and Threat Trackers.
In Bangladesh, clashes broke out between rival factions of the Bangladesh Awami League and its student wing, the Bangladesh Chhatra League, in Rajshahi, Dhaka, and Chittagong divisions last week, resulting in multiple injuries. The clashes occurred over factionalism and establishing political supremacy. The clashes contributed to the 32% increase in weekly violent events in Bangladesh in the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the country during the preceding four weeks.
Note: This dashboard automatically updates to cover the latest four weeks of data released by ACLED. Use the date filters to view data for the one-week period covered by this Regional Overview.