Taliban leaders set up fundraising hotlines, plead for donations

Taliban leaders are appealing to Muslims worldwide to support their war effort and have set up fundraising hotlines for donations.

In a rare move for the cloistered leadership of the group, Taliban leaders posted telephone hotlines and e-mail addresses where sympathizers in the Muslim world can donate money, according to recent news reports. 

The contact and donation information was posted on one of the group's websites on Wednesday, according to Agence France Presse. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Muslims across the globe are "duty-bound to join the Jihad" against U.S. and coalition forces fighting in Afghanistan, according to the website. 

“[The Taliban] are still waging legitimate Jihad single-handedly with mere help from common sincere Islam-loving masses and is in dire need of financial assistance from the Muslim brothers worldwide for its military and non-military expenditures,” it added.

The new plea for funds comes less than a week after Taliban and other insurgent groups launched a series of coordinated attacks against American and NATO positions, including targets in Kabul. 

The Afghan government said 36 insurgents were killed by Afghan security forces Sunday in the attacks. Four civilians and 11 Afghan troops were also killed in the attacks Sunday, according to Afghan officials.

The Taliban claimed the attacks, which were focused on the eastern part of the country, marked the beginning of the spring fighting season. 

American and coalition leaders praised the Afghan security forces for their response to the attacks. 

Their actions were further proof those forces are ready to take over security operations once U.S. troops withdraw from Afghanistan in 2014. 

However, Karzai and Afghan defense chief Abdul Rahim Wardak say they need guarantees from Washington that they will continue to fund Afghan security forces after 2014. 

Without that financial support, there would be no guarantee that Afghan forces would have the equipment and firepower to repel a similar attack in the future.