Last week in South Asia and Afghanistan, Taliban forces and the Islamic State (IS) continued targeting each other in Afghanistan, while clashes between the Taliban and the National Resistance Front (NRF) increased in the northeast of the country. In Pakistan, members of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan (TLP) were reportedly killed after clashing with police, while deadly battles between state forces and Baloch separatists were reported in Balochistan. In India, militants killed a Kashmiri Pandit and two non-local Hindu day laborers in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K), sparking protests. In Bangladesh, unidentified assailants reportedly killed three Rohingya refugees in refugee camps in Cox’s Bazar.
In Afghanistan, following a series of IS attacks the week prior, Taliban forces conducted operations against IS last week, arresting two IS members in Kabul and reportedly killing five in Kunduz city. Nevertheless, IS reportedly killed a Taliban member who was captured in Takhar province and targeted a Taliban vehicle with a bomb in Kabul city. One civilian was reportedly wounded in the latter incident, which failed to cause any harm to the Taliban (Pajhwok Afghan News, 19 October 2022).
Meanwhile, the NRF clashed with Taliban forces last week in Takhar, Badakhshan, Parwan, Panjshir, Kunduz, Kapisa, and Baghlan provinces, marking an increase in such clashes compared to the first two weeks of October. During deadly clashes in Badakhshan province, nine NRF members, including a commander, were reportedly killed along with 21 Taliban members. The clashes followed a recent deployment of Taliban troops in the region (Hasht-e Subh, 21 October 2022). These trends contribute to the 140% increase in violent events in Badakhshan last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month flagged by ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker. The Subnational Tracker also warned of increased violence in Badakhshan during the preceding four weeks.
In Pakistan, continued violence in Balochistan and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa provinces contributed to the 30% increase in average weekly violent events in Pakistan 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.
In Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, 10 TLP members were reportedly killed in a clash with state forces in Haripur during a TLP march to attend an Eid Miladun Nabi procession, which commemorates the birth of the Prophet Muhammad. Over 30 police and hundreds of TLP members were also injured as a result of the clashes. Gatherings and processions were banned around Haripur ahead of the incident amid fears of heightened tensions (ANI, 17 October 2022). Previous clashes between the TLP and state forces led to the government banning the TLP in April 2021, before rescinding the ban in November 2021.
In Balochistan, several deadly clashes were reported between state forces and Baloch separatists last week. However, Voice for Baloch Missing Persons — an organization representing families of disappeared people — claimed that battles in Mastung and Nushki districts were staged and that some of those killed were people who had previously gone missing (Balochistan Post, 18 October 2022).
In India, in J&K, suspected Jammu and Kashmir Freedom Fighters and Al-Badr militants killed a member of the Hindu Kashmiri Pandit community in Shopian district on 15 October. Several protests were held throughout the region denouncing the killing. Later in the week, Lashkar-e-Taiba militants reportedly killed two non-local Hindu day laborers in the same district. Attacks on Kashmiri Pandits and non-local Hindus have become more frequent over the past year (AP, 18 October 2022). ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in J&K during the preceding four weeks.
In Bangladesh, unidentified assailants staged multiple deadly attacks on Rohingya refugees in Chittagong division last week. Unidentified assailants reportedly killed two Rohingya community leaders in a Cox’s Bazar refugee camp on 15 October, with another member of the Rohingya community killed on 18 October. The Arakan Rohingya Salvation Army, an armed Rohingya group, is believed to be behind the attacks (Al Jazeera, 16 October 2022). The latest attacks come amid a recent upswing in violence targeting Rohingya refugees. 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.