is a district
in the north of Helmand Province
.Its population, which is 97% Pashtun
, was 50,300 in 2005. The district centre is the village of Musa Qala
; there are 19 other large villages and 200 smaller settlements, mostly along the Musa Qala River
In a drive to stamp out resurgent Taliban
extended its presence to this region in mid-2006. Musa Qala, along with the rest of Helmand, was to be under the responsibility of British
The village of Musa Qala was the scene of fierce fighting between British Pathfinder Platoon
troops and Taliban
fighters during the summer of 2006. The British had set up a stronghold in the local governor's office and faced daily waves of determined attacks. The British garrison was later relieved by a Danish infantry
team who faced renewed Taliban attacks, culminating in better trained Taliban fighters equipped with rockets and mortars. After a month of these attacks the fighting died down and the Danish forces handed control of the base back to British forces. On 17 October, after a 35-day lull in violence, the British left the village, handing over control to the local elders' council.
Occupation of Musa Qala, February 2007
A unit of several hundred Taliban soldiers occupied Musa Qala
on February 2, 2007.Eurasianet
reports: "The attack laid waste to an agreement there,......