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RFE/RL: Afghan Village Fights To Keep Taliban At Bay

Author: Muhammad Tahir
September 30, 2010


This RFE/ RL portrait of an Afghan village on the front lines of the fight to prevent the Taliban from spreading futher north in Konduz Province depicts the challenges that local opponents of the Taliban face.

TARBUZ GUZAR, Afghanistan -- The village of Tarbuz Guzar nestles in a forest along the banks of the Konduz River.

It is surrounded by green, even in the heat of summer, giving it little in common with the images of rolling arid land in many other parts of Afghanistan.

But if the village looks idyllic, and its good farmlands make it relatively wealthy, it is living a nightmare.

For over a year, Tarbuz Guzar has been on the frontline of the fight to keep the Taliban spreading further north in Konduz Province. It is a lonely fight, waged by the village's own militia force and funded almost entirely by the villagers themselves.

It is also a desperate fight. The villagers are too poor to sustain their force of 50 militiamen forever. The commander of the militia estimates that if it does not get outside help, he cannot continue to fight the Taliban for more than another three to four months.

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