taliban insurgency

Afghanistan’s Only Female Police Chief Takes on the Taliban

It was five in the morning. A cluster of mud houses stood in silhouette against the moonlit sky, breaking the monotony of Helmand’s desert topography. They were surrounded by farms that seemed to have produced little over the years. The icy, early-morning silence was interrupted by hushed chatter and hurried footsteps, which stopped at the door of a small, dark home.

Knocks in the dark are usually not welcome in this war-torn country, where they can be from Taliban insurgents seeking food and shelter or from Afghan soldiers in hot pursuit of them. But this knock on a frigid December morning was greeted with warm smiles and hot cups of green tea.

The visitor was Firoza, a 53-year-old grandmother and a police commander in Sistani, a village in the remote Marjah district of Helmand. Like many Afghans, she goes only by her first name.

She was here to settle a domestic dispute. Fida Noorzai, a local, had complained about her husband Fazal’s violent outbursts, which had, of late, become frequent. Firoza ordered five of her heavily armed soldiers to quickly gather Noorzai’s extended family in the courtyard. “I have to get this dispute out of the way before I get on to my routine duties,” she bluntly told the soldiers.

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Kunduz City

Afghan special forces prepare to launch operation to retake the city from Taliban insurgents in Kunduz, Afghanistan, Sept. 29, 2015. Afghan security forces launched counter-offensive on Tuesday morning to retake the northern Kunduz city and expel Taliban militants from the area, Kunduz police spokesman Sayed Sarwar Hussaini said. (Najim Rahim/Xinhua Press/Corbis)

Photo taken by @stevemccurryofficial // I photographed this fruit and vegetable stand in the Pul-e-Khumri bazaar in northern Afghanistan. The city about 150 miles north of Kabul, and is the capital of Baglan province, which is known for its abundant agricultural products, especially fruits and vegetables.
It is a prosperous town, but there is a constant threat from the nearby Taliban fighters and other insurgent groups. by natgeo

PAKISTAN, Peshawar : An injured Pakistani child rests on a hospital bed following an earthquake in Peshawar on October 27, 2015.  Rescuers were picking their way through rugged terrain and pockets of Taliban insurgency in the search for survivors after a massive quake hit Pakistan and Afghanistan, killing nearly 300 people. The toll was expected to rise as search teams reach remote areas that were cut off by the powerful 7.5 magnitude quake, which triggered landslides and stampedes as it toppled buildings and severed communication lines. AFP PHOTO / HASHAM AHMED