Afghanistan: February 25, 2003


Small groups of Taliban fighters continue to shoot at government, warlord and American forces. These groups are more like hunting parties, just going out looking for someone they don't like and shooting at them (and often not hitting anyone). This is traditional Afghan behavior, made worse by the fact that these armed bands also engage in banditry when the opportunity presents itself. Suppressing this sort of thing is difficult. In the past, it has been achieved only for periods of time. Once the pressure is off, the lads return with their guns and larcenous ways.

So far, the only open organized resistance to the new Afghan government is led by Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, an Islamic fundamentalist who led a major faction fighting the Russians in the 1980s, and in the Afghan civil war of the early 1990s. Hekmatyar is apparently trying to attract Taliban forces to his cause and is believed to be hiding among pro-Taliban Pushtun tribes in western Pakistan.

A bomb went off in front of the house of the Education Minister for Kandahar province. Schools for girls are being set up in the province and this is very unpopular with the pro-Taliban Islamic fundamentalists in the area. Attacks have also been made on the girls schools themselves.


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