Last week in South Asia and Afghanistan, the Islamic State (IS) and the National Resistance Front (NRF) attacked the Taliban in Afghanistan, while the Taliban continued to target civilians with alleged links to the NRF. In Ghazni city, Taliban forces injured eight members of the Kuchi tribal group in a clash over land use. In Pakistan, protests erupted in the Swat valley after an unidentified group attacked a school van, while an unidentified assailant killed a former Afghan police commander in Quetta, Balochistan. In Bangladesh, an unidentified group killed a Rohingya leader in a refugee camp. Lastly, in India, state forces and the Lashkar-e-Taiba (LeT) clashed in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K).
In Afghanistan, IS carried out attacks against the Taliban in Laghman and Nangarhar provinces and Kabul city last week. At least three Taliban members were killed and several injured in these attacks. Meanwhile, the NRF clashed with the Taliban in Takhar and Baghlan provinces. NRF activity contributes to the 105% increase in average weekly violent events in Takhar 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 these provinces during the preceding four weeks.
Taliban forces continued to target civilians with alleged links to the NRF last week, particularly in Panjshir province. In Panjshir, the Taliban reportedly detained 40 people and shot three people in the legs in Darah district (Hasht-e Subh, 14 October 2022), with further arrests reported in Rukha district. The Taliban also shot two civilians dead in Badakhshan province and detained civilians in Kabul city.
Elsewhere, Kuchi tribal group members clashed with the Taliban in Ghazni city when the Taliban prevented them from building houses on government land, leaving eight Kuchi injured. Kuchi group members said they had long been living in the area, claiming ownership of the land (Pajhwok Afghan News, 11 October 2022). This follows recent reports of the Taliban backing the relocation of Kuchis, who belong to the Pashtun ethnicity which is largely shared by the Taliban. In May and June, Kuchis reportedly moved into occupied areas in Nawur and Jaghatu districts of Ghazni province (Twitter @reporterlyaf, 3 June 2022; Hasht-e Subh, 12 May 2022), while last month, armed Kuchi nomads forced Tajik and Uzbek families from their homes in Khwaja Bahawuddin, Takhar province.
Last week in Pakistan, unidentified assailants attacked a school van in Swat district, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, reportedly killing the driver and injuring two students. The attack prompted several protests across the Swat valley, denouncing the continued violence in the region. The attack occurred around the 10th anniversary of the shooting of Nobel Peace Prize laureate Malala Yousufzai in Swat district on 9 October 2012 for her outspoken advocacy for girls’ education (Al Jazeera, 11 October 2022). Violence in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province is both common and highly volatile; it is considered an area of ‘extreme risk’ by ACLED’s Volatility and Risk Predictability Index.
Meanwhile, in Balochistan, an unidentified assailant shot and killed a former Afghan police commander on 9 October. The victim had served under the Ashraf Ghani administration in Afghanistan and was reportedly involved in anti-Taliban operations prior to the fall of Kabul. The attack occurred in Quetta, where the Taliban is known to be present. The victim had recently posted a statement on social media condemning a suicide bombing at a school in Kabul in September (Balochistan Post, 11 October 2022).
In Bangladesh, on 11 October, unidentified assailants reportedly shot and killed a Rohingya leader in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar in Chittagong division (Prothom Alo, 11 October 2022).1ACLED data are current as of 14 October 2022. Over the past weekend, two more Rohingya leaders were reportedly killed in the area as well. This will be included in next week’s data release. Rohingya leaders in the refugee camps in Bangladesh have been targeted with increasing frequency, often by the Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an armed Rohingya group (Al Jazeera, 16 October 2022). The killing comes a week after a Rohingya girl was also killed in a refugee camp in Cox’s Bazar. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Chittagong division during the preceding four weeks.
In India, clashes were reported in J&K between state forces and the LeT last week, resulting in two LeT fatalities. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Jammu and Kashmir 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.