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Taliban 'Intensifying' Search For Afghans Who Helped U.S., UN Says


Taliban fighters sit at a checkpoint in Kabul on August 19.

The Taliban is stepping up a search for individuals who worked with the U.S. and NATO forces and those persons and their families could be now risking torture and executions, according to a confidential UN document seen by the media.

The report -- provided by the UN's threat-assessment consultants -- says the group has "priority lists" of individuals it wants to apprehend.

The paper says most at risk are those who had central roles in the Afghan military, police, and intelligence units.

The Taliban has been conducting "targeted door-to-door visits" of individuals it wants to detain and their family members, the report says, adding that militants are screening individuals on the way to Kabul airport and have set up checkpoints in major cities.

The document, dated August 18, was written by the Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, an organization that provides intelligence to UN agencies.

"They are targeting the families of those who refuse to give themselves up, and prosecuting and punishing their families 'according to Shari'a law,'" Christian Nellemann, the group's executive director, told AFP.

"We expect both individuals previously working with NATO/U.S. forces and their allies, alongside with their family members to be exposed to torture and executions.

"This will further jeopardize Western intelligence services, their networks, methods, and ability to counter both the Taliban, [the Islamic State group], and other terrorist threats ahead," Nellemann said.

The Taliban has launched a public-relations offensive since sweeping back into power on August 15, promising rights for women and an inclusive government.

The militants have also pledged a full amnesty for all those who worked with the Western-backed elected Afghan government.

Based on reporting by AFP and BBC

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