Last week was marked by a surge in reported fatalities in Afghanistan and Pakistan as well as the start of the third session of the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference amidst a spike in violence in Myanmar.
In Afghanistan, highly lethal engagements between state forces and the Taliban reportedly left at least 40 soldiers and policemen dead in different areas of Archi District, Kunduz Province and 73 Taliban dead in Zurmat and Ahmadabad Districts of Paktia Province. The Taliban and Islamic State also clashed heavily in the Darzab and Qush Tepa Districts of Jowzjan Province, with reportedly dozens of deaths on both sides.
In Pakistan, with less than two weeks remaining before the general elections to be held on 25 July, electoral violence spiked. Two attacks by suicide bombers – one claimed by Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) and one by the Islamic State – on Awami National Party (ANP) election rallies in Peshawar and Mastung towns respectively, reportedly left 150 people dead and many more injured.
In Myanmar, the session of the 21st Century Panglong Union Peace Conference began, amidst ongoing skirmishes between the military and Shan State Army-South (SSA-S) and Kachin Independence Army (KIA). Last week, people took to the streets across Myanmar, notably in Pyay (Bago region), Monywa (Sagaing region) and Tanintharyi (Tanintharyi region), over land and livelihood issues.
In India, while vigilante violence was reported from several parts of the country, in the state of Punjab vigilantes attacked suspected drug users and drug peddlers while anti-drug protests continued. In Jammu & Kashmir, militants continued to engage in hit-and-run grenade attacks. In addition, state forces clashed with militants in a series of gun battles, reportedly claiming the lives of four militants, three government personnel and a civilian.
In Bangladesh, activists from the Bangladesh Chhatra League (BCL) attacked journalists who were reporting on recent violence against student activists. In Indonesia, security forces reportedly shot and killed three Jemaah Ansharut Daulah (JAD) militants after the militants attacked them with sharp weapons. In the Philippines, the military and Bangsamoro Islamic Freedom Fighters (BIFF) rebels continued to fight in Maguindanao, reportedly killing at least 12 rebels. Attacks on local officials continued and a vice mayor was assassinated in an ambush by unidentified assailants.
17 July 2018