‘General Commander’ of the Andarab Resistance Front killed
The death of the commander was confirmed by both Pro-Taliban social media users and the Andarab Resistance Front, who shared a statement on their Facebook page. Unconfirmed social media reports claim dozens of Andarab Resistance Front fighters were also killed after running out of ammunition.
27 Dec 2022
On December 26, a prominent resistance ‘General Commander’ named Khair Mohammad Andarabi was killed in the Andarab area of Baghlan province. The death of the commander was confirmed by both Pro-Taliban social media users, who shared an [WARNING: GRAPHIC] image of the corpse of the commander, and the Andarab Resistance Front, who shared a statement on their Facebook page. According to unconfirmed social media reports, dozens of other Andarab Resistance Front fighters were killed along with Commander Mohammad Andarabi due to the resistance fighters running out of ammunition.
The images of the corpse of Mohammad Andarabi shared by Pro-Taliban social media users online showed severe injuries to the face. However, the exact cause of death could not be verified. Furthermore, the images indicated a lack of supply to the Andarab Resistance Front fighters, as Mohammad Andarabi appeared slimmer and possibly malnourished in comparison to his last video recording in June 2022.
Andarab Resistance Front activity
In June 2022, AW investigators identified two locations of operation for the ‘Andarab Resistance Front’, including the exact location of ‘General Commander’ Khair Mohammad Andarabi in the Namak area of Andarab, Baghlan province. The group was geolocated in a neighbouring valley of Puli Hisar district, Baghlan province, in footage shared on social media, indicating that the Andarab Resistance Front had presence and/or partial control of at least two valleys in the area in a range of five kilometres in June 2022.
According to a statement shared by the Andarab Resistance Front on their Facebook page, clashes occurred in the ‘Khaj’ area of the region. The Khaj area is a mountain range several kilometres west of the ‘Namak’ area, where Khair Mohammad Andarabi was previously geolocated.
Previous Taliban crackdown on resistance groups
The death of Mohammad Andarabi marked the second death of a high-ranking resistance fighter. In September 2022, ‘Yar Mohammad’, a Panjshir National Resistance Front commander and his sons were allegedly killed by the Taliban in the Dara-e-Hazara area of Dara district, Panjshir. In footage showing the aftermath of the executions, a Taliban member can be heard stating, “There were two brothers. Their father is over there…from Khenj district”. This comment is consistent with information from the Afghan NGO Afghan Peace Watch, which reported that among the executed men were ‘Yar Mohammad’, commander of Shaba camp [a resistance camp in the Dara-e-Hazara area] and his two sons.
The death of Mohammad Andarabi indicates that the Taliban likely overran Andarab Resistance Front positions in the Namak/Khaj area. AW investigators identified four resistance locations since the spring offensive of 2022 - two in the Andarab area of Baghlan province and two in Panjshir province - of which two have now likely been overrun by the Taliban.