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Majlis Podcast: Who Are The Central Asian Fighters In North Afghanistan?


Citizens of several Central Asian countries are reported to have joined the ranks of armed groups in northern Afghanistan. (file photo)

Citizens of Central Asia who have joined militant groups in Afghanistan have worried governments in the region for years.

RFE/RL's Tajik Service, known locally as Ozodi, has reported that -- in some of the areas along Tajikistan's border with Afghanistan that were recently captured by the Taliban -- a militant group from Tajikistan, Jamaat Ansarullo, is now in charge.

There are also citizens of Uzbekistan, and even reportedly some from Turkmenistan, who are in the ranks of militant groups active in northern Afghanistan, some who are allied with the Taliban, some who are not.

On this week's Majlis podcast, RFE/RL media-relations manager Muhammad Tahir moderates a discussion on Central Asian citizens operating in northern Afghanistan, who they are, and from whom they take orders.

This week's guests are: from the United Kingdom, Antonio Giustozzi, a visiting professor at King's College in London who researches conflict and security; from Washington, Melanie Sadozai, a visiting scholar at George Washington University who was recently along the Tajik-Afghan border when the Taliban seized control in that area; from Prague, Salimjon Aioub, the director of Ozodi; and Bruce Pannier, the author of RFE/RL's Qishloq Ovozi blog.

Who Are The Central Asian Fighters In North Afghanistan?
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Listen to the podcast above or subscribe to the Majlis on iTunes or on Google Podcasts.

About This Blog

Qishloq Ovozi is a blog by RFE/RL Central Asia specialist Bruce Pannier that aims to look at the events that are shaping Central Asia and its respective countries, connect the dots to shed light on why those processes are occurring, and identify the agents of change.

Content draws on the extensive knowledge and contacts of RFE/RL's Central Asian services but also allow scholars in the West, particularly younger scholars who will be tomorrow’s experts on the region, opportunities to share their views on the evolving situation at this Eurasian crossroad.

The name means "Village Voice" in Uzbek. But don't be fooled, Qishloq Ovozi is about all of Central Asia.

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