Taliban Gain Stronghold in District Near Kabul

The young man and three older men agreed to talk under the condition that neither their names, nor pictures would be used, as any identifying markers could put their lives at risk. In this area near Kabul, the Taliban have gained a stronghold.The younger man said the Taliban come regularly to this village to shop. The village is Khak-e-Jabbar, a district of Kabul province, less than an hour’s drive from Afghanistan’s capital. It has dozens of small villages, with populations ranging from 100 to several hundred people each.For years the Taliban had tried to get a foothold in this area. This year, they appear to have succeeded. Some blamed it on the cease-fire between the government forces and the Taliban in June, the first of its kind in 17 years of conflict, that allowed Taliban fighters to freely roam the area.

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