Local Afghan-led uprisings against Taliban fighters are beginning to have an effect against the Islamist terrorist group in Afghanistan.
What began earlier this year as an isolated uprising around Kandahar city against Taliban fighters by the local population has turned into a string of attacks across dozens of Afghani villages.
The Free Beacon reported in July that uprisings against the Islamist group were occurring. What makes these latest attacks significant is that they are occurring in southern Afghanistan, the heart of the Taliban movement.
Kandahar has seen some of the most gruesome fighting in Afghanistan since the 2010 American troop surge that focused on removing the Taliban from their southern stronghold.
The local Afghan population began to resist against their occupiers despite the Taliban’s strength in the area.
Army Maj. Gen. Robert Adams, commander of U.S. forces in southern Afghanistan, said at a press conference last week that "in short, the people have said enough is enough and become fed up with the Taliban."
The New York Times reports of the first uprising in Panjwai:
It was the Taliban’s callousness that caused the population to snap, Afghan officials and the villagers here said. Between 300 and 400 civilians have been killed or injured by bombs or ambushes by the Taliban in the past six months in Panjwai, according to the district governor, Hajji Fazel Mohammad.
"People are angry because the Taliban have been laying mines in their orchards and vineyards," he said in an interview at his district office. A member of the Taliban would lay mines and then get killed and no one knew where the mines were, he said. "People are now fed up with the Taliban and are joining us."
The spark came in early February when the Taliban commander of the area, Mullah Noor Mahmad, 35, came to arrest men in this village. He called on the house of Hajji Abdul Wudood and demanded the handover of two sons he accused of spying for the government.
"They wanted to slaughter my sons," Mr. Wudood said in an interview last month in his home. "They wanted to take them to the desert where they had a court and a base."
Mr. Wudood, a 60-year-old former mujahedeen fighter against the Soviets in the 1980s, had had enough. He and his eight grown sons decided to make a stand.
Frustrated locals and members of the strengthening government police force attacked a Taliban base, killing three and driving the rest out of the village.
As a result of the attack’s success other villages across southern Afghanistan have carried similar attacks that have caused a serious blow to the Taliban’s long term strategy:
Taliban leaders were furious at losing Panjwai and have been plotting their return to the district in meetings in the Pakistani town of Quetta this week, police and intelligence officials said. One Taliban commander, who spoke on the condition of anonymity during a telephone interview, acknowledged the loss of Panjwai, but said the movement was starting to infiltrate more fighters into southern Afghanistan along with workers coming in for the opium poppy harvest.