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Taliban arrest NRF and AFF members

The Taliban claimed that two key resistance commanders, Daud Khatar and Mansoor Jawanmard, were among the detainees, however, AW found no visual proof of commander Khatar’s arrest.


16 Jan 2023

On January 6, 2023, pro-Taliban sources published a photo of a National Resistance Front (NRF) commander, Mansoor Jawanmard, in the Nahrin district, with tied hands, and claimed he was arrested in the Gosfandi district of Sar-e Pul province on January 5, 2023. Quoting the Taliban’s spokesman of Sar-e Pul governor, Pajhwok News confirmed the arrest of Jawanmard in the province.

Jawanmard belonged to the National Resistance Front (NRF) and announced his uprising against the Taliban in the Nahrin district of Baghlan province, under the leadership of Ahmad Massoud, in a video in October 2022. In two different audio messages, published in late 2022, Jawanmard reacted to the death of a resistance commander, Khair Mohammad Andarabi, and the ban on women’s higher education by the Taliban. Jawanmard shared his sympathy with the family of Khair Mohammad and promised to continue in his pursuit and avenge his killing. In the second audio message, Mansoor Jawanmard condemned the Taliban’s recent ban on women’s education. He called on women in Afghanistan to keep up their hopes and spirits and not surrender to the Taliban.

On January 4, 2023, the Taliban’s Chief of Police for Baghlan province, Mawlawi Jan Mohammad Hamza, told the media that 10 resistance force members, including their commander Daud Khatar, were arrested in the Shahr-e Kuhna area of the Baghlan-e Markazi district of the province. Mawlawi Jan Mohammad Hamza claimed that the group was active in the Khost district, and the Taliban arrested them while leaving Afghanistan for Tajikistan. On the same day, media sources confirmed the incident, adding that the arrest occurred on January 3, 2023. A video surfaced on social media on January 3, 2023, and showed detainees inside a compound with tied hands surrounded by the Taliban. Despite claiming the arrest of Daud Khatar, the Taliban didn’t show his face or parade him to the media.

Photos of the prisoners released on social media show ten people with their hands tied behind their backs and weapons and ammunition on a table behind them. The video interview of the Taliban’s chief of police was also conducted in the same location, as the prisoners can be seen in the background.

Daud Khatar belonged to the Afghanistan Freedom Front (AFF), an anti-Taliban resistance group allegedly active in several provinces. In a video released by the group in November 2022, Daud Khatar stands before a group of 12 armed men in a mountainous area, saying they are fighting “to rescue the people from the oppression of the Taliban”.

Commander Khatar also released a video after the first snowfall in Baghlan province in October 2022 to show the difficult life of AFF fighters in the mountains. In the video, he says, “we are enduring such a difficult time for the victory of the people of Afghanistan, and the victory is so close, Insha’Allah”. 

The two higher profile arrests come a month after the death of the Andarab Resistance Front Commander Khair Mohammad Andrabi, who was killed by the Taliban in the Andarab valley of Baghlan province.

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