While much attention is paid to the US-led offensive in Helmand province in southern Afghanistan, the war remains very much alive, if forgotten, in northern Afghanistan. Yesterday, Taliban militants stormed a police station in Kunduz province, killing the district police chief.
A joint German-Afghan offensive aimed at securing Kunduz province ahead of the Afghan presidential elections was launched in July. Reportedly, the German-Afghan operation was designed to disperse IMU militants who fight both in Afghanistan and in neighboring Uzbekistan and Tajikistan. Since that operation’s end, militants have moved back into Kunduz province and Taliban activity has trended upwards in recent days. Though Kunduz is in the north of the country, it is still a majority Pashtun province and shares cultural and linguistic links with the Pashtun tribes that harry NATO forces in Helmand and Pakistani forces in Waziristan.