Taliban Fighters Worried They’ve ‘Missed Their Chance At Martyrdom’, Militant Commander Says

Cameron Frew


Taliban Fighters Worried They've 'Missed Their Chance At Martyrdom', Militant Commander SaysAlamy

A Taliban commander says some fighters are concerned they’ve ‘missed their chance at martyrdom’ without much combat in Afghanistan.

Twenty years after being ousted from power amid the US military’s invasion, the Taliban’s rapid takeover of the country, taking Kabul in August, has seen the roles of some militants reduced from what they originally trained for.

Now, with troops withdrawn from Afghanistan and the Taliban’s ensuing rule, some aspiring martyrs are said to be struggling to adjust to their lives maintaining power, as opposed to fighting for it.

Some Taliban fighters aren't happy with their new lives. (Alamy)Alamy

The Washington Post spoke to Commander Abdulrahman Nifiz about the 250 fighters under his watch. ‘All of my men, they love jihad and fighting. So when they came to Kabul they didn’t feel comfortable. There isn’t any fighting here anymore,’ he explained.

The day-to-day lives of fighters has changed compared to a few months ago, when they were in considerably more active combat, like attacking foreign convoys and outposts. Now, reports of violence from the capital seem to revolve around women and protesters against the new administration, while militants inspect cars, control checkpoints and apparently enjoy some time in the sun.

Saad, a Badri commander who didn’t further identify himself, explained, ‘Martyrdom seekers have different skills. Some were trained to use vest bombs, others in car bombs or targeted killings, and some were front-line fighters leading operations.’

A Taliban soldier guards a border crossing (PA Images)PA Images

‘Many of my fighters are worried that they missed their chance at martyrdom in the war. I tell them they need to relax. They still have a chance to become martyrs. But this adjustment will take time,’ Nifiz said. According to The Post, some fighters believed the war with the US was ‘sanctioned by God’ and it charted a ‘clear path to paradise in the afterlife’.

‘Our new work is different. It’s a huge change, but day by day everyone is becoming more experienced, and because of that we are changing,’ the commander said.

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Topics: News, Afghanistan, Now, Taliban


The Washington Post
  1. The Washington Post

    After 20 years of waging religious guerrilla warfare, Taliban fighters in Kabul say they miss the battle

Cameron Frew
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