This COI Focus describes the security situation in the city of Jalalabad, capital of the province of Nangarhar in eastern Afghanistan. The city of Jalalabad is the fourth largest city in Afghanistan. The city is an important commercial centre in eastern Afghanistan, situated at a strategic position on different trade routes.
This report covers the period from 1 March 2017 to 31 January 2018. The research for this COI Focus was completed on 15 February 2018. This COI Focus is an update of the COI Focus of the same name on the security situation in Jalalabad dated 9 June 2017.
During the research period from 1 March 2017 to 31 January 2018, 98 security incidents took place in the city of Jalalabad and in the district of the same name. More than half of these incidents involved the use of IEDs, landmines and other explosives. The region of Jalalabad is confronted with an increased number of (targeted) murders and with a rising criminality. Most attacks are attributed to the Taliban or ISKP. Although the violence in the city of Jalalabad is mainly aimed at specific profiles - military and civilian targets - there are also regularly civilian casualties. Suicide or complex attacks may cause civilian casualties as collateral damage. The increased number of murders and higher crime levels create a growing feeling of insecurity in Jalalabad. The Afghan security services are often powerless in face of major attacks.
During the research period from 1 March 2017 to 31 January 2018, 24 security incidents took place in the Bihsud district. In the same period, 43 security incidents took place in the Surkh-Rōd district. In the Behsud and Surkh-Rōd districts, the violence is mainly aimed at security personnel but there are also civilian casualties as collateral damage. Attacks in both Behsud and Surkh-Rōd are mainly claimed by the Taliban. Exact statistics on civilian casualties in Jalalabad and the Behsud and Surkh-Rōd districts are not available.
The majority of IDPs in eastern Afghanistan take refuge in the city of Jalalabad and the Behsud and Surkh-Rōd districts. Studies show that displaced families in Jalalabad are confronted with a recurring set of problems: no means of support, limited access to basic facilities and a lack of job opportunities. The increasing population density leads to overburdened services and infrastructures in the city of Jalalabad. Rents are increasing, tuition fees are increasing and there is food insecurity.
Jalalabad is only accessible from Kabul by road. Rebels sometimes target checkpoints and convoys of the security services on this road. As a result, road traffic can be jammed for hours. The airport near the city is only used for military purposes and sustains sporadic attacks by rebel groups.
The general security situation in Afghanistan is largely determined by a long-term, ongoing, internal armed conflict which has resulted in many Afghans being uprooted or seeking refuge in another country. In order to assess the need for international protection, the Commissioner General takes into account the fact that there are fundamental differences between the regions of Afghanistan when it comes to the security situation, the nature and intensity of the violence.