Afghanistan: The Hard Core and Their Hideouts

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September 26, 2005: American commanders believe there are less than a thousand armed Taliban still living in the border area with Pakistan. Most of these gunmen stay in remote villages, where there is no way for locals to report the presence of terrorists. This makes these terrorists hard to get at. In the past year, these Taliban have been coming down from their remote villages andtrying to start an armed resistance against the government. This has killed 1200 people this year. Most of those killed were Taliban, and as a result, support for the Taliban has shrunk even more. However, the hard core Taliban are true believers, who feel they are on a mission from God, and will not compromise.

September 25, 2005: An American CH-47 helicopter crashed while returning from a combat support mission, killing five crew and passengers. This was an accidental loss. Afghanistan is a difficult area for helicopter operations, partly because of the high altitude (and thinner air), and large amount of dust (which jams up engine and other helicopter parts).

September 24, 2005: In the last two days, 14 Taliban, an American soldier, an Afghan soldier and several civilians were killed. Among the dead was a wedding singer, killed because hard line Taliban believe it is un-Islamic to have music at weddings. These Taliban have long been willing to kill to make their point. In southern Afghanistan, a group of Taliban attacked a police headquarters and jail. One attacker and one prisoner were killed before the attackers were driven off.

September 22, 2005: Another 400,000 refugees have returned so far this year, from camps in Pakistan and Iran. Since refugees began returning in 2002, some 4.2 million have done so. About 70 percent of the refugees were staying in Pakistan.

September 21, 2005: President Karzai believes the majority of Taliban violence is coming from pro-Taliban organizations in Pakistan, and that the U.S. should concentrate on getting Pakistan to clean up the Islamic radical sanctuaries in Pakistan, along the Afghan border.

September 20, 2005: Two attacks in the south left three policemen and four Taliban dead.

 

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