Intelligence Brief: Afghanistan
Recent violence in Afghanistan underscores the rise in Taliban, al-Qaeda and drug-related violence affecting the country. On February 3, around 200 Taliban militants launched attacks on government targets in the southern province of Helmand. They were met by government troops and international security forces, in a clash that left handfuls of dead on both sides. Insurgents fleeing the clash attacked again in a nearby district and killed a government administrator.
Additionally, the rise in suicide attacks continues, with reports that foreign, al-Qaeda linked militants are infiltrating Afghanistan to launch operations against government and international troops. In early February, authorities in Nimroz province reported that they had arrested a group of foreign militants including three Kashmiri Pakistanis and an Iraqi. On February 6, Ustad Atta Mohammad, governor of Balkh province, told reporters that Afghan security forces had arrested an al-Qaeda operative from Mali, who was caught wearing an explosive vest on his way to meet with the governor.
There are also reports that militants experienced in fighting Iraqi security forces and U.S.-led international forces are moving in groups from Iraq to Afghanistan to help train Afghan insurgents in guerrilla tactics and to conduct their own operations against government and international troops.
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