Thursday is the 102nd anniversary of Afghanistan’s independence, and some brave patriots are flying the national flag proudly as the Taliban tragically takes over their country. Taking place in several cities across Afghanistan, “small numbers of Afghans took to the streets waving their national flag in protest against the Taliban” reports the BBC.
As the Taliban takes over the country, militants are swiftly replacing the nation’s black, red and green national flag with their own white one. Casualties have been reported at the protests including in Asadabad in the east of the country Thursday and in Jalalabad on Wednesday.
Despite claims being made by Taliban officials saying they want to work diplomatically with other nations and will help facilitate ‘safe passage’ for its citizens to reach the Kabul airport, what the world feared would occur is in fact reality.
The Taliban is “carrying out a highly-organised manhunt” according to the BBC. Taliban are engaging in a “door-to-door hunt for people on their wanted list, says the head of the group providing intelligence to the UN.” Specifically, they are stepping up the search for “collaborators.”
“What we have seen is that the Taliban, in advance of moving into all major cities in Afghanistan, not just Kabul, is that they have a more advanced intelligence system,” Christian Nellemann, of the Norwegian Centre for Global Analyses, told the BBC.
“They have lists of individuals and even within the very first hours of moving into Kabul they began a search of former government employees – especially in intelligence services and the special forces units.”
Nellemann explained that not only could this lead to mass executions, but also a “mass revealing of our methods and the intelligence networks that the West has provided. So this could undermine severely a number of our Western intelligence services.”
The BBC also reported that while Western countries, to the extent that they are able, are desperately evacuating nationals and Afghans who worked for them, the Taliban is actively recruiting. “The Norwegian Centre for Global Analyses’ report to the UN stated the Taliban are recruiting new informer networks to collaborate with their regime.”