“Nuristan borders Pakistan’s tribal areas and there seem to be growing alliances between local leaders and Pakistani Taliban groups. That makes Nuristan strategically important in the wider conflict as an entry point into Afghanistan – and a potential haven for Pakistani militants.”
Note also the number of foreign jihadists reported below. They certainly didn’t fly into Nuristan International Airport to get there. “Taliban seize district in eastern Afghan province,” by Jill McGivering for BBC News, May 25:
Officials in Afghanistan say insurgents allied to the Taliban have taken another district in a strategically important province in the north-east.
Nuristan Governor Jamaludin Badar told the BBC that 10 insurgents and three policemen had been killed.
Nato-led forces now say they and Afghan troops provided air support on Wednesday.
Local officials say they are trying to re-take the western district of Doab which Nato denies is in Taliban hands.
At least three districts in Nuristan are now under Taliban control. In others, the government presence is either weak or limited.
“We had intelligence reports that close to 500 Arabs, Chechen, Pakistani and Afghan fighters wanted to attack and take the districts,” Mr Badar told the BBC.
“The fighting is still going on. Our weapons are no match to those of the insurgents. We have no hand grenades, mortars or heavy machine guns.
“We have asked for help from the defence ministry but they have not responded to us.”
The insurgents control key routes into the provincial capital, Parun, allowing them to impose a blockade on the city.