Afghanistan: Taliban Governor of Balkh Province Killed In Blast

    Afghanistan: Taliban Governor of Balkh Province Killed In Blast
    Last updated Mar 10, 2023
    Image credit: AP [via Al Jazeera]


    • A suicide attack in the northern Afghan province of Balkh on Thursday – later claimed by the Islamic State (IS) – killed at least two people, including the provincial governor Mohammad Dawood Muzammil.[1]
    • The blast reportedly occurred on the second floor of the governor's office in the provincial capital of Mazar-e-Sharif, marking one of the most senior-level officials confirmed dead since the Taliban retook control of the country in 2021.[1]
    • The IS-owned Amaq news agency stated that the assailant was waiting for the governor at his office and rushed toward him, detonating his explosive belt, as Muzammil arrived.[2]
    • This high-profile attack came a day after provincial Taliban authorities announced they killed eight alleged rebels and kidnappers in Mazar-e-Sharif. Known for fighting against IS militants, Muzammil had been Balkh's governor since last October.[3]
    • Since the Taliban's takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021 following the US withdrawal, IS and its affiliates have claimed a series of deadly, nationwide attacks on civilians and members of the Taliban.[4]
    • A spokesman for the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan reported on Thursday that the militant Jamaat-ul-Ahrar, which has had disagreements with IS and the provincial government of Balkh, also claimed responsibility for the blast.[5]


    Pro-establishment narrative

    This suicide attack in Afghanistan is just the latest example of how the "emirate" is drifting into chaos and lawlessness since the West's withdrawal. This is compounded by economic collapse and an acute food crisis. But even in combat, the Taliban are failing. The ruthless rampage of the so-called IS-K bears witness to this. The US must prepare for an increasing threat to its security interests.

    Establishment-critical narrative

    Afghanistan only makes the headlines when it comes to violence and tragedy. More attention must be paid to the country's humanitarian catastrophe. Due to the dire economic situation, 22.8M Afghans are facing acute food insecurity, and 3M children are at risk of malnutrition. The West contributes to this by, for example, not releasing Afghanistan's frozen reserves funds. This is a declaration of moral bankruptcy.

    Nerd narrative

    There's a 50% chance that the US will reopen its embassy in Kabul, Afghanistan, by February 2028, according to the Metaculus prediction community.

    Establishment split



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