Afghanistan: April 25, 2003

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Some 35 US Army Special Forces troops patrolling along the Pakistan border encountered about twenty Taliban fighters. In the firefight that followed, one American soldier was killed and three wounded. Three of the Taliban were killed and some wounded as the survivors fled back into Pakistan.

With encouragement, and probably some cash as well, provincial warlord militias have become more aggressive at hunting down pro-Taliban groups in their neighborhoods. The Taliban try and use their guns and numbers to bully local Afghans into adopting social and religious customs favored by them. This includes unpopular things like destroying music stores  and girls schools. So resisting these Taliban gangs is generally popular and the provincial governors see Taliban hunts as a popular way to give their gunmen something to do.

 

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