Taliban deploy additional forces to Badakhshan: Sources

Sources from Badakhshan reported that Taliban has deployed additional forces to the city of Faizabad and the districts of Darayim and Argo following protests in the region.

Mohammad Ayoub Khalid, the Taliban-appointed governor of Badakhshan, told BBC on Thursday that the increased military presence was due to efforts to eradicate poppy fields, but this has led to “misunderstandings” among the local population.

Amid tensions between protesters and the Taliban, the Islamic State Khorasan Province claimed responsibility for a bombing on Wednesday targeting a Taliban police convoy in Faizabad. The attack reportedly killed three Taliban police officers and wounded five others, according to Taliban Interior Ministry spokesman Abdul Matin Qaneh.

The unrest in Badakhshan has escalated following the Taliban’s actions against poppy cultivation, coinciding with the opium harvest season.

“People had committed to eradicating poppy cultivation. These are poor people who couldn’t meet their commitments. The increased presence of Taliban fighters as the harvest approached naturally led to misunderstandings when many people returned to their homeland,” Khalid said.

In addition to the violence, there have been calls from protesters for the Taliban to expel members who do not speak the local language, reflecting broader resistance to Taliban rule in the region.

Human rights activists, political movements, and some national political figures have described the protests as a “stand against tyranny.”

The ongoing tensions highlight significant challenges in governing the region amidst widespread opposition to the Taliban’s methods, particularly their aggressive eradication of poppy fields, which many locals depend on for their livelihood.