Villagers' Revolt Against Taliban Raises US Hopes

Gizab villagers won town back from insurgents
By Jane Yager,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 21, 2010 6:44 AM CDT
Villagers' Revolt Against Taliban Raises US Hopes
In this May 18, 2010 photo, United States Army soldiers from 2nd Platoon, Charlie Company, 1st Battalion, 17th Infantry Regiment of the 5th Stryker Brigade cross rugged terrain while patrolling rural villages in the Shah Wali Kot district of Kandahar province, Afghanistan. Twenty-two men in the U.S....   (AP Photo/Julie Jacobson)

(Newser) – In late April, a remote village in southern Afghanistan became the unlikely site of a major milestone in the 9-year-long war here: For the first time, ordinary Afghans rose up against the Taliban on their own, in a local revolt that succeeded in winning the town of Gizab back from insurgent control. Kabul and Washington were slow to take notice of the battle in Gizab, but now that they have, they're eager to replicate the town's uprising elsewhere.

And while it's unlikely that the event will alter the war's course, the Taliban has taken note: They "thought this place was untouchable, and what the people here showed them—and everyone else—was that they could stand up and break free from that grip," a US Special Forces commander told the Washington Post. The villagers who led the uprising say increasingly bad treatment at the hands of the Taliban motivated them to rebel, and warn that their victory remains fragile because of uncertainty about funding and equipping the local forces who defend the town.
(Read more Taliban stories.)

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