DUE TO ITS failure to take territory from the national army, the Taliban has resorted to intimidating the population, a new United Nations report has revealed.
The terrorist group has concentrated its efforts on silencing community leaders who are not supportive of their programme, a team that monitors group leaders and sanctions said.
“Targeted assassinations, the wanton use of improvised explosive devices and threatening letters have been effective among many in rural communities,” the report to the Security Council by the Analytical Support and Sanctions Monitoring Team explained.
“The primary target of Taliban intimidation efforts have been clerics who have spoken out against the legitimacy of the presumed ‘emirate’ of Mullah Omar or against the proclaimed ‘jihad’ in Afghanistan.”
- Download the full report here.
Citing government and Taliban internal statistics, the report also revealed that between 10,000 and 12,000 insurgents lost their lives this year.
On the other side, 880 members of the Afghan national army died, while 1,300 national police perished.
Chairman of the committee Gary Quinlan said the violence that has characterised the year to date underlines the continuing challenges to peace and security posed by the group.
He said there have been tentative moves towards political negotiations with the Taliban but was sceptical of the Taliban’s commitment to dialogue.
Reporting on the organisation’s income streams, the committee estimates that the Taliban were able to collect about $155 million from the illegal drug trade last year. It also gains revenue from other illicit activities, including illegally smuggling gemstones out of the country.