Panjwayi District

Last updated
Districts of Kandahar. Panjwai is shown in dark green Kandahar districts.png
Districts of Kandahar. Panjwai is shown in dark green
Headquarters of the Afghan National Police (ANP) in Panjwayi, Kandahar Province. 130403-A-CE099-001.jpg
Headquarters of the Afghan National Police (ANP) in Panjwayi, Kandahar Province.

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. [1]


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.

Populated places

War in Afghanistan

2006 Battle of Panjwayi

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. [2]

Kandahar massacre

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. [3] [4]

2021 Taliban offensive

On 10 July 2021, the Taliban recaptured Panjwayi District. [5]

Other events

On 16 November 2009 Canadian troops captured the Taliban-controlled village of Hajji Baba southwest of Kandahar City. [6]

See also

Related Research Articles

International Security Assistance Force NATO-led security mission in Afghanistan, 2001–14

The International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) was a NATO-led military mission in Afghanistan, established by the United Nations Security Council in December 2001 by Resolution 1386, as envisaged by the Bonn Agreement. Its main purpose was to train the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and assist Afghanistan in rebuilding key government institutions, but was also engaged in the War in Afghanistan (2001–present) against the Taliban insurgency.

Arghandab District, Kandahar District in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

Arghandab is a district in the central part of Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. It borders Panjwai and Khakrez districts to the west, Shah Wali Kot District to the north and east and Kandahar District to the east and south.

Zhari District District in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan

Zhari is a new district in Kandahar Province, Afghanistan. Alternative spellings include Zheley, Zharey, Zharay, Zheri, or Zheray. The district was created from territories taken from Maywand and Panjwai districts. The population is estimated at 80,700 (2010).

Operation Mountain Thrust was a NATO and Afghan-led operation in the war in Afghanistan, with more than 3,300 British troops, 2,300 U.S., 2,200 Canadian troops, about 3,500 Afghan soldiers and large air support. Its primary objective was to quell the ongoing Taliban insurgency in the south of the country.

Operation Medusa Military operation in Afghanistan

Operation Medusa was a Canadian-led offensive during the second Battle of Panjwaii of the war in Afghanistan. The operation was fought primarily by the 1st Battalion, The Royal Canadian Regiment Battle Group and other elements of the International Security Assistance Force, supported by the Afghan National Army and a team from the United States Army's 1st Battalion, 3rd Special Forces Group (Airborne) augmented by A Company, 2nd Battalion, 4th Infantry Regiment of the 10th Mountain Division. Its goal was to establish government control over an area of Kandahar Province centered in the district of Panjwayi some 30 kilometres (19 mi) west of Kandahar city. A tactical victory, it resulted in the deaths of 12 Canadian soldiers; five during the major combat operations, five in bombings, and two in a mortar/RPG attack during the reconstruction phase of the operation. Fourteen British military personnel were also killed when their plane crashed. Despite suffering a brutal battlefield defeat, the Taliban retained their presence in Kandahar province and did not lose their will to fight, leading to the subsequent Operation Falcon Summit. Nonetheless, Operation Medusa was at the time the most significant land battle ever undertaken by NATO.

Operation Mountain Fury Military operation in Afghanistan

Operation Mountain Fury was a NATO-led operation begun on September 16, 2006 as a follow-up operation to Operation Medusa, to clear Taliban rebels from the eastern provinces of Afghanistan. Another focus of the operation was to enable reconstruction projects such as schools, health-care facilities, and courthouses to take place in the targeted provinces.

Battle of Panjwaii

The Battle of Panjwaii was fought in mid-2006 between primarily Canadian and Afghan soldiers, supported by small elements of Dutch, American, and British forces, and the Taliban. There were two separate times in which the forces were involved in heavy fighting in the region. The first phase was fought in July 2006, and the second encounter lasted from September to October 2006.

Musa Qala Town in Helmand Province, Afghanistan

Musa Qala is a town and the district centre of Musa Qala District in Helmand Province, Afghanistan. It is located at 32.4433°N 64.7444°E and at an altitude of 1,043 m in the valley of Musa Qala River in the central western part of the district. Its population has been reported in the British press to be both 2,000 and 20,000. It is in a desolate area, populated by native Pashtun tribes.

Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2006

In January 2006, NATO's focus in southern Afghanistan was to form Provincial Reconstruction Teams with the British leading in Helmand Province and the Netherlands, Australia and Canada leading similar deployments in Orūzgān Province and Kandahar Province respectively. The United States, with 2,200 troops, stayed in control of Zabul Province. Local Taliban figures voiced opposition to the incoming force and pledged to resist it.

Coalition combat operations in Afghanistan in 2007

US and NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) operations, alongside Afghan National Army forces, continued against the Taliban through 2007.

Battle of Arghandab (2008)

The Battle of Arghandab began on June 18, 2008, when NATO-led forces attacked Taliban militants in response to Taliban attacks in Arghandab District and Kandahar. The battle in Arghandab marked the second time in less than a year that the Taliban has tried to take control of the area.

There are two "coalitions" operating in Afghanistan, one of which has a strict basis in international law. The "US-led coalition", identified by the press, refers to Operation Enduring Freedom, mostly special forces, air and naval forces, within a strictly US chain of command, exercising over a wide international geographic area, the US right to "self defence" accorded by the UN charter. The "NATO-led coalition", identified by the press, refers to the forces of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by NATO, with a specific United Nations Security Council mandate within Afghanistan, including most of the US forces in Afghanistan, NATO contingents and some non-NATO forces..

Operation Shahi Tandar

Operation Shahi Tandar, also called Operation Atal, was a series of operations by Coalition troops from the British 42 Commando Royal Marines, Royal Canadian Regiment, 2nd Battalion 2nd Infantry Regiment, and the Afghan national military in central Helmand province and the Western Panjwayi and Western Zhari districts of Kandahar, Afghanistan from January 7–31, 2009.

Operation Moshtarak

Operation Moshtarak, also known as the Battle of Marjah, was an International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) pacification offensive in the town of Marjah, Helmand Province, Afghanistan. It involved a combined total of 15,000 Afghan, American, British, Canadian, Danish, and Estonian troops, constituting the largest joint operation of the War in Afghanistan up to that point. The purpose of the operation was to remove the Taliban from Marja, thus eliminating the last Taliban stronghold in central Helmand Province. The main target of the offensive was the town of Marjah, which had been controlled for years by the Taliban as well as drug traffickers.

Events from the year 2010 in Afghanistan.

Operation Dragon Strike was a NATO counter-insurgent mission in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, against Taliban forces, which started on September 15, 2010.

Khosrow Sofla was a village in the Arghandab District of Kandahar Province in southern Afghanistan that was demolished by the United States Army in October and November 2010. After experiencing high casualties resulting from firefights and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) outside the village, Lieutenant Colonel David S. Flynn of the American 1-320th field artillery, a part of the 101st Airborne Division, ordered villagers to evacuate Khosrow Sofla, Khosrow Ulya, Tarok Kolache, and Lower Babur and used aerial bombardment to partially or wholly destroy the villages.


  1. "The Helmand Valley Project in Afghanistan: A.I.D. Evaluation Special Study No. 18" (PDF). C. Clapp-Wicek & E. Baldwin, U.S. Agency for International Development. December 1983.
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2007-09-29. Retrieved 2006-10-07.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "U.S. Soldier Opens Fire On Civilians In Afghanistan". The Huffington Post. 11 March 2012.
  4. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2012-03-17. Retrieved 2012-03-17.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  5. "The fall of Panjwaii casts a long shadow over Canada's Afghan war veterans". CBC News . 10 July 2021. Retrieved 10 July 2021.
  6. Fisher, Matthew (November 17, 2009). "Taliban abandon village to Canadian troops". Canwest News Service.[ permanent dead link ]

Coordinates: 31°32′52″N65°27′15″E / 31.54778°N 65.45417°E / 31.54778; 65.45417