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Find Out All About Oruzgan

Map showing Oruzgan province in Afghanistan

Oruzgan is one of the thirty-four provinces of Afghanistan. It is in the centre of the country, though the area is considered part of southern Afghanistan and it is culturally and tribally linked to Kandahar. Its capital is Tarin Kowt. On March 28, 2004, the new Daikondi province was carved out of an area in the north leaving Oruzgan with a majority Pashtun population and Daikondi with a majority of Hazaras. The map shows the new provincial boundaries. In May 2006, the district of Gizab was taken back from Daikondi and re-annexed to Oruzgan, becoming Oruzgan's sixth district.

Taliban leader Mullah Omar was born in Singesar village, in Oruzgan province.

Because of security concerns and the Taliban insurgency, no international aid agencies or NGOs have a permanent presence in Oruzgan. ISAF operates a Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Tarin Kowt, under Dutch authority as of August 2006.

From January 2002 through March 2006, the province was governed by Jan Mohammed Khan, a corrupt, illiterate warlord ally of President Karzai (they are both from the Pashtun Populzai tribe). On March 18, 2006, Karzai appointed Maulavi Abdul Hakim Munib, a former Taliban official who has reconciled with the Government of Afghanistan, to replace Khan. Munib is a Pashtun from Paktia province who is educated and has strong administrative skills.

In August 2006, NATO assumed authority for Oruzgan from the US-led coalition, as the Netherlands took command of the PRT from the US. There is also an Australian element under the Dutch command. Also in Summer 2006, insurgents in Oruzgan were targeted by a NATO-Afghani military offensive called Operation Mountain Thrust.