Last week in South Asia and Afghanistan, Pakistani forces and the Taliban clashed along the Pakistan-Afghanistan border for the second consecutive week, as anti-Taliban groups continued to target the Taliban in Afghanistan. Meanwhile, at least nine Hazara people were killed during a Taliban operation in Daykundi province. In Pakistan, militants continued to clash with security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. In India, a deadly clash erupted between police and civilians over an internal boundary dispute in the North Eastern Region, while militants and Naxal-Maoist rebels clashed with security forces in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the Red Corridor, respectively. In Bangladesh, clashes continued between the Awami League and the Bangladesh Nationalist Party (BNP) and between rival factions of both parties. In Nepal, election-related violence increased in the run-up to and during the general elections, which were held on 20 November.
Taliban and Pakistani forces continued to engage in shelling across the Afghanistan–Pakistan border last week. On 20 November, shelling resulted in over a dozen casualties among the civilians and security forces of both countries, including at least two reported fatalities. The clashes have been linked to ongoing land disputes along the border (Dawn, 20 November 2022). Following the clashes, Taliban officials announced the appointment of a delegation to discuss the issue with Pakistan officials (TOLO News, 21 November 2022).
Elsewhere in Afghanistan, anti-Taliban groups engaged in multiple clashes with Taliban forces last week. The National Resistance Front launched a number of deadly attacks on Taliban forces in Takhar province, while the Afghanistan Freedom Front also reportedly killed two Taliban members during an attack in Kandahar city.
Separately, in Daykundi province, the Taliban killed at least nine people during an operation responding to a land dispute between Hazara tribal groups in Nili city. While the Taliban claimed that those killed during the operation were armed men involved in the land dispute (Rukhshana News, 26 November 2022), other reports suggest that they were civilians and included children (Twitter @UNICEFafg, 25 November 2022). Local sources also claimed that Taliban forces escalated tensions between the tribes by killing a person mediating between the disputing families and the Taliban (Etilaat e Roz, 24 November 2022).
Last week in Pakistan, militants continued engaging in clashes with security forces in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Balochistan. A Pakistani soldier and an unidentified militant were reportedly killed during separate clashes in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s South Waziristan and Lakki Marwat districts, respectively. The Islamic State was also active in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa last week, reportedly killing a man that they accused of being a member of the Pakistani intelligence service in a targeted IED explosion in Bajaur district. 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, state forces and Baloch separatists continued to clash last week. Two Pakistani soldiers were reportedly killed and several injured during clashes and explosive attacks by Baloch separatists in Kech and Panjgur districts.
In India, Assam police personnel shot at villagers from the neighboring state of Meghalaya along a disputed internal border near Mukroh village, resulting in the reported deaths of five villagers and one forest guard. While the Assam government claims that the police shot in self-defense after being attacked by timber smugglers, the Meghalaya government has maintained that the deceased were farmers, subjected to “unprovoked firing” whilst returning from their fields (The Hindu, 25 November 2022). The incident prompted several demonstrations denouncing the police action. Clashes over internal boundary disputes stemming from the redrawing of colonial borders frequently erupt in India’s North East region. The latest incident comes amid ongoing efforts by the Assam and Meghalaya state governments to resolve the longstanding dispute (The Hindu, 25 November 2022).
Meanwhile, security forces clashed with militants and Naxal-Maoist rebels in Jammu and Kashmir (J&K) and the Red Corridor, respectively. In J&K, state forces reportedly killed two militants in separate clashes. In the Red Corridor, two Communist Party of India (Maoist) ((CPI (Maoist)) cadres and three cadres of the Jharkhand Jan Mukti Parishad, a CPI (Maoist) splinter group, were reportedly killed in separate clashes with state forces in Odisha and Jharkhand states, respectively. ACLED’s Subnational Surge Tracker warned of increased violence in Jharkhand during the preceding four weeks.
In Bangladesh, unidentified assailants stabbed and reportedly killed a member of the Awami League’s youth wing, the Jubo League, in Chittagong division last week, amid ongoing clashes between — and within — the Awami League and the BNP. Meanwhile, in Chittagong division, police reportedly shot a member of the BNP’s student wing, the Bangladesh Jatiotabadi Chatra Dal, dead during a clash with BNP supporters at a campaign event in Bancharampur town. The event turned violent after police tried to arrest a BNP leader during the program. This violence contributed to the 33% increase in average 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.
In Nepal, election-related clashes intensified across the country ahead of and during the general elections, which were held on 20 November. Numerous casualties were reported across separate incidents of mob violence involving supporters from multiple parties last week. In Sudurpashchim province’s Tribeni municipality, Nepali Congress cadres assaulted and reportedly killed a member of the All Nepal National Free Students’ Union, affiliated with the Communist Party of Nepal (Unified Marxist-Leninist), while a person was reportedly killed when police opened fire on rioters at a polling station. Rivalries within and between political party factions vying for influence often lead to violence in Nepal (for more, see this recent ACLED report). Meanwhile, unidentified groups triggered explosions near polling stations in several provinces on election day. These incidents contributed to a 365% increase in violent events in Nepal last week relative to the weekly average for the preceding month. ACLED’s Conflict Change Map also warned of increased violence in the country over the past 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.