Last week in South Asia and Afghanistan, a suicide bomber targeted the Ministry of Interior in Afghanistan while women continued to stage demonstrations after another suicide attack killed Hazara students the week prior. Clashes involving the National Resistance Front (NRF) and the Taliban persisted in the northeast. In Pakistan, clashes pitted militants against state forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. In India, farmers protested on the first anniversary of a notably deadly demonstration during last year’s demonstrations against proposed farm laws. In Bangladesh, a Rohingya girl was killed in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar.
In Afghanistan, a suicide attack targeted a mosque inside the Ministry of Interior compound in the capital Kabul, reportedly killing at least four worshipers and injuring dozens. No group claimed responsibility for the attack. Additionally, in the Hazrati Imam Sahib district of the Kunduz province, close to the border with Tajikistan, a bomb exploded inside a mosque during Friday prayers and caused an unknown number of casualties. Taliban officials denied the attack took place (Twitter @Natsecjeff, 7 October 2022).
Women continued to hold protests across the country last week, condemning the attack that reportedly killed dozens of Hazara girl students in Kabul city the week prior. Taliban forces beat and arrested demonstrators in Herat, Bamyan, Kabul, Kapisa, and Balkh provinces. The Taliban also reportedly blocked some women students from joining the demonstrations by locking some in their university dorms in Balkh (RFE/RL, 4 October 2022). They also reportedly prevented students at the university in Herat from joining the protests (Twitter @RukhshanaMedia, 3 October 2022).
Meanwhile, the NRF continued to clash with the Taliban in Takhar, Kunduz, and Badakhshan provinces, where intense clashes have been taking place for some weeks. The NRF claimed to take control of Shiki district in northeastern Badakhshan last week, arresting the Taliban’s district governor. Taliban officials denied these claims (Twitter @moiafghanistan, 3 October 2022). These trends contribute to the 119% increase in average 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.
In Pakistan, clashes between militants and state forces took place in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, in the northwest of the country. A civilian was reportedly killed during a battle that ensued after the Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) attacked state forces in Peshawar city on 3 October. These trends contribute to a 103% increase in weekly violent events in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa over the past month relative to the weekly average for the preceding year, as flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Threat Tracker. Amid stalled peace talks with the TTP, the government issued a warning calling for state forces to maintain “extreme vigilance” due to the likelihood of increased TTP activity in the region (The Tribune, 6 October 2022).
Meanwhile, in Balochistan, the Baloch Republican Guard (BRG) and state forces clashed last week. Four members of the BRG were reportedly killed. However, according to the Voice for Baloch Missing Persons, two of those killed were individuals previously abducted by the Counter-Terrorism Department in July (Balochwarna, 3 October 2022).
In India, demonstrations by farmers were recorded across a number of states last week, with a large number concentrated in Punjab state. Many of the demonstrations marked one year since the deaths of nine people in Uttar Pradesh state during last year’s demonstrations, which were against proposed farm laws (for more, see this ACLED report). The demonstrators called for the son of a Bharatiya Janata Party minister to be held responsible for his role in running down demonstrators, farmers who subsequently attacked those in the car.
In Bangladesh, unidentified assailants reportedly shot and killed a young Rohingya girl in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar in Chittagong division (Financial Express, 4 October 2022). Rohingya refugees have often been the victims of targeted killings inside the refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar. While the perpetrators of these attacks are often unidentified, the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an armed Rohingya group, has been responsible for a number of attacks (Southeast Asia Globe, 11 October 2022). Last week’s killing comes a year after the killing of a prominent Rohingya leader in the camps in September 2021. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Chittagong division 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.