The Taliban in Balkh province are collecting funds forcefully and also recruiting local people, according to officials. Afghan local authorities in the northern province said on Wednesday that the Taliban are forcing the local people who live in areas under the group’s control in Balkh province to pay them part of their income.
“The Taliban are also trying to recruit from among the local people,” said the officials, reported Tolo News.
“There are only about 20 Taliban fighters inside the district building compound and the police headquarters; the rest of them have taken up positions inside the villages to collect Zakat (charity),” said Mohammad Yousuf, the acting district governor of Kaldar district.
The officials said that the number of Taliban fighters in the district numbers only about 200 fighters, but they are looking to recruit more fighters from among the people, reported Tolo News.
“They have imposed taxes on the shops and bazaars and on the local people–which is beyond their capacity to pay. They also harassed the people who don’t have the capacity to pay a large amount of money,” said Mohammad Hashem Mansoori, a District Governor for Shortepa district in Balkh province.
Business activity has also been affected following the increased violence by the Taliban, especially in those regions where there are dry ports, such as at Hairatan.