The Taliban are carrying out background checks within their ranks as they look to identify and capture infiltrators from rival Islamic State, which has carried out several deadly attacks across Afghanistan since the militant group took power in August.
“Anyone who’s seen as harmful to the government or people of Afghanistan and misusing the authority of the government will be removed from our ranks and eliminated,” Ahmadullah Wasiq, a spokesman of Taliban, said over the phone. “We have also seen reports of unknown armed men entering private homes or punishing people in the name of Taliban.”
A local offshoot of the Islamic State continues to be one of the biggest threats to the Taliban, carrying out at least five major attacks since the chaotic U.S. evacuation. The latest violence took place on Nov 2., when gunmen stormed a military hospital in the capital, killing about 20 people including a senior Taliban commander. No claimed responsibility for the attack but the Taliban has blamed the rival group.
Targeted killings of former government officials, including police and prosecutors, have also been reported. Four civil society activists and four members of the earlier Afghan police force were recently found dead in northern Mazar-e-Sharif city. Locals blamed the Taliban for their deaths.
Soon after the Taliban swept into power, there were reports many armed members of the group went door-to-door to find and kill opponents or those who worked with the previous government or U.S. forces over the past two decades. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed would not comment on those reports but had vowed the militant group would investigate them.—Bloomberg