A secret UN document says Taliban militants now ruling Afghanistan are “intensifying” efforts to hunt down elements that collaborated with US and NATO forces despite pledges of general amnesty by the group.
The document provided by the UN's Norway-based threat assessment consultants says the Taliban have "priority lists" of individuals they want to detain, adding that most at risk are people who had central roles in the Afghan military, police and intelligence units.
The Taliban have been conducting "targeted door-to-door visits" of individuals they want to apprehend and their family members, the document drafted by the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, an organization that provides intelligence to UN agencies, said.
"We expect both individuals previously working with NATO/US forces and their allies, alongside with their family members to be exposed to torture and executions,” the center’s Executive Director Christian Nellemann said.
"They are targeting the families of those who refuse to give themselves up, and prosecuting and punishing their families," he added.
The UN document also alleges that the Taliban are "rapidly recruiting" new informers to collaborate with the ruling militant group “and are expanding their lists of targets by contacting mosques and money brokers”.
The militants are also screening individuals on the way to Kabul airport and have set up checkpoints in major cities, including the capital and Jalalabad.
‘US diplomats had warned of rapid Taliban takeover in July’
The Wall Street Journal reported on Thursday that about two dozen American diplomats in Afghanistan had sent an internal cable last month warning Secretary of State Antony Blinken of the likely fall of Kabul to the Taliban as the withdrawal of US forces continued.
The confidential cable sent through a so-called dissent channel was signed on July 13 and offered recommendations on ways to mitigate the crisis and accelerate an evacuation as the Biden administration faced intense criticism over the handling of the Afghanistan troop pullout and its failure to evacuate Americans and Afghan allies before the Taliban takeover.
"I think the cable reflects what we've said all along, which is nobody had this exactly right in predicting that the government and army of Afghanistan were going to collapse in a matter of days," White House deputy national security adviser Jonathan Finer said during an interview with CNN.
Amid the uncertain political and security situation, many governments have rushed to evacuate their citizens and diplomatic personnel from Afghanistan.
Taliban militants are patrolling outside the airport's walled and fenced perimeter.
The situation was relatively calm at the Kabul airport on Thursday, witnesses said. However, the Taliban prevented people from getting into the airport compound on Wednesday, and fired into the air. An unnamed Taliban official said commanders and soldiers had fired into the air to disperse the crowd.
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