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Taliban Militants Said To Have Arrested Prominent Afghan Cleric

Sardar Zadran's son said that Taliban fighters in a car drove his father away.

The family of influential Afghan cleric Maulvi Mohammad Sardar Zadran says he has been arrested by the Taliban.

The hard-line Islamist group took control of Afghanistan more than two weeks ago, triggering concerns that it will return the war-torn country to the repressive rule it imposed when last in power from 1996-2001.

Sardar Zadran's son Samiullah told RFE/RL on August 30 that Taliban fighters in a car drove his father away from his home in the eastern province of Khost the previous day.

A photo was later released appearing to show Sardar Zadran, the former head of the Khost council of religious scholars, blindfolded and seated.

Samiullah said he didn't know the reason for the arrest.

Earlier, the family of an Afghan folk singer and musician, Fawad Andarabi, said he had been shot dead by a Taliban fighter late last week.

In reaction to Andarabi's alleged killing, Agnes Callamard, the secretary-general of Amnesty International, cited "mounting evidence that the Taliban of 2021 is the same as the intolerant, violent, repressive Taliban of 2001."

"20 years later. Nothing has changed on that front,” Callamard tweeted.

This story is based on reporting by Radio Azadi correspondents on the ground in Afghanistan. Their names are being withheld for their protection.

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    RFE/RL's Radio Azadi is one of the most popular and trusted media outlets in Afghanistan. Nearly half of the country's adult audience accesses Azadi's reporting on a weekly basis.