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Taliban intensify search for Afghans who aided US: report

The Taliban are intensifying their search for Afghans who assisted U.S. and British forces in the country and are threatening to kill or arrest their family members, according to a United Nations document seen by The New York Times.

Directly contradicting the Taliban’s own assurances that those who fought against them or aided foreign forces would be granted amnesty, the Times reports that the U.N. has found the militant group has a list of people they are seeking to question and punish.

The militant group is reportedly “arresting and/or threatening to kill or arrest family members of target individuals unless they surrender themselves to the Taliban.”

Afghan military and police officials, as well as those who worked for the investigative units of the Afghan government, are of particular interest, the Times reports.

When reached for comment by The Hill, a U.N. official said their organization had not produced the document referenced by the Times.

The Taliban have so far sought to indicate publicly that they plan on being more moderate than when they previously ruled Afghanistan in the 1990s.

On Tuesday, the group said it would grant amnesty to all Afghans who opposed them and assisted foreign forces. A Taliban spokesperson also said the group was prepared to allow women opportunities to work and study, inviting them to join their government.

Whether the Taliban will follow through with these proclamations is yet to be seen as thousands of Afghans continue to seek escape from the country, fearful of a return to their oppressive regime.

Ever since President Biden first announced that the U.S. would be withdrawing from Afghanistan earlier this year, lawmakers have pressed him to expedite the evacuation of Afghan allies who assisted allied forces. Since the fall of the Afghan government, the calls have intensified with at least three military bases now open to at-risk Afghans.

Military officials have acknowledged that the U.S. does not have the capacity to house all at-risk Afghans and some will be sent to third-party partner countries.

Updated 2:37 p.m. 

Tags Afghan peace process Afghan translators afghan war afghan withdrawal Afghanistan Afghanistan conflict Joe Biden Taliban Taliban insurgency Taliban's rise to power War in Afghanistan
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