Soldiers with the Popular Uprising, a government-aligned militia fighting against the Taliban near Achin District.

Soldiers with the Popular Uprising, a government-aligned militia fighting against the Taliban near Achin District.

Foto: Christian Werner / DER SPIEGEL

In the Valley of the Warriors Growing Anxiety as the Taliban Approaches in Eastern Afghanistan

Silently and strategically, the Taliban are gaining ground in eastern Afghanistan – and without even firing shots. As they advance, they are forming grotesque alliances against forces even more radical than themselves.
By Christoph Reuter und Christian Werner (Photos)
DER SPIEGEL 29/2021
SPIEGEL International
Afghanistan's Eastern Provinces
Fotostrecke

Afghanistan's Eastern Provinces

Foto: Christian Werner / DER SPIEGEL
The village leaders of Darah-i Noor at a farewell meeting with an ex-commander now living abroad: "We have everything under control.”

The village leaders of Darah-i Noor at a farewell meeting with an ex-commander now living abroad: "We have everything under control.”

Foto: Christian Werner / DER SPIEGEL
Government militiamen in Khogyani: "We’ll only hear the crunch of their footsteps on the gravel when they’re here at the door.”

Government militiamen in Khogyani: "We’ll only hear the crunch of their footsteps on the gravel when they’re here at the door.”

Foto: Christian Werner / DER SPIEGEL
It's hard to see the Taliban because they have no night-vision goggles. But the Taliban do.
Commander Kamagul in front of the ruins of a village bazaar in Achin District.

Commander Kamagul in front of the ruins of a village bazaar in Achin District.

Foto: Christian Werner / DER SPIEGEL
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