Panjwayi (Pashto: پنجوايي) (also spelled Panjwaye, Panjwaii, Panjway, Panjawyi, Panjwa'i, or Panjwai) is a district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It is widely considered the spiritual home of the Taliban and is located about 35 kilometres (22 mi) west of Kandahar. The district borders Helmand Province to the southwest, Maywand District to the west, Zharay District to the north, Arghandab, Kandahar and Daman districts to the east and Reg District to the south. The population was around 77,200 in 2006, most of which are peasants and poorly educated due to non-availability of schools. The district center is Bazar-e Panjwayi, located in the northern part of the district. The area is irrigated by the Helmand and Arghandab Valley Authority.
Panjwayi was the site of continual fighting and emplacements of improvised explosive devices (IED) during the War in Afghanistan, with the bulk of the Canadian Forces' casualties taken from this district. The 2009 increase in ISAF forces, brought on about by the U.S. surge, increased troop densities in Panjwayi, resulting in a greater ability on behalf of Afghan government and international forces to conduct operations and penetrate into former Taliban strongholds, especially villages in the "Horn of Panjwayi" such as Mushan, Nejat, Talokan, Sperwan Ghar and Zangabad. These villages are considered the "Birthplace of the Taliban" and were seen as one of the most dangerous regions of Afghanistan for NATO forces. Still, the Taliban maintained a significant psychological and physical presence in the district, and recaptured it on July 10, 2021, during the 2021 Taliban offensive.
War in AfghanistanEdit
2006 Battle of PanjwayiEdit
The district was the scene of a battle involving Canadian Forces and Taliban fighters and the theatre of the ISAF Operation Medusa, September 2006. NATO claimed to have killed over 500 Taliban insurgents.
At around 3:00 AM on Sunday, March 11, 2012, a 38-year-old U.S. Army staff sergeant Robert Bales from Joint Base Lewis-McChord (in Washington), went from house to house in two separate villages in the district (Balandi and Alokzai) and killed 16 Afghan civilians, including 9 children.
2021 Taliban offensiveEdit
On 10 July 2021, the Taliban recaptured Panjwayi District.
On 16 November 2009 Canadian troops captured the Taliban-controlled village of Hajji Baba southwest of Kandahar City.
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- "The fall of Panjwaii casts a long shadow over Canada's Afghan war veterans". CBC News. 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
- Fisher, Matthew (November 17, 2009). "Taliban abandon village to Canadian troops". Canwest News Service.[permanent dead link]