News: Taliban ‘desperate’ in Farah province, kidnap local leaders
Story by Staff Sgt. Richard Lower
FARAH PROVINCE, Afghanistan – The Taliban have lost ground in Farah province and are “desperate” to gain momentum, a spokesman for the provincial governor said Aug. 29, following the Aug. 28 kidnapping of two village elders.
The elders were abducted from their homes in Kanesk village in the province’s Bala Boluk district. Reports suggest that Mohammad Rahim and Gul Ahmad were taken for unidentified crimes against the insurgent organization. The Taliban is expected to prosecute the two men in their shadow courts. An extreme version of Islamic law, or Sharia law, governs these courts.
“The Taliban are losing the fight against a stronger Afghan government,” said provincial spokesman Abdul Zhwandai. “Our enemy is desperate. They are kidnapping our brave leaders who unite the Afghan people against these insurgents.”
Rahim and Ahmad belong to the village shura, a consultative council.
The Taliban recently approached the Kanesk shura, asking to remove Afghan security forces from the village. Insurgents are trying to establish a stronghold in the surrounding area, Zhwandai said.
“The Taliban should immediately return the two men to their families,” he added. “The kidnapped men are only doing their duty by looking out for their peoples' best interest.”
Afghan officials continue to gather information as to the elders’ whereabouts. Zhwandai stressed that the investigation is still ongoing, and that the search for Rahim and Ahmad will not stop until they are found.