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  • The Taliban’s Last Land-Grab Shows They Still Mean Business

    The U.S. military’s accidental bombing of a hospital in the Afghan city of Kunduz has overshadowed abuses carried out by the Taliban during its recent three-day occupation of the city.

    The Taliban enforced “extrajudicial executions, including of healthcare workers, abductions, denial of medical care and restrictions on movement out of the city” when they briefly seized parts of Kunduz, a U.N. statement confirmed. (RELATED: America’s First 2001 Foothold In Afghanistan Falls To Taliban)

    The abuses have been overshadowed by a U.S. airstrike on a Kunduz Doctors Without Borders Hospital that killed 22 civilians, but the Taliban made it clear their rule is still brutal.

    Although Afghan and U.S.-allied forces quickly pushed the Taliban back out of Kunduz, the group continues to enjoy broad support in parts of Afghanistan. As worldwide counterterror efforts have focused on threats from the Islamic State and other groups, the Taliban have consolidated their power in outlying parts of the country — 14 years after the U.S. occupation forced them from power.

    Afghanistan has not fared well in the years since the Taliban’s expulsion. When news broke recently that U.S. military leaders turned a blind eye to local allies’ custom of keeping underage children as sex slaves, critics pointed out that the Taliban took a strict line against the practice while in power. (RELATED: Military Expelled Officers For Criticizing Afghans’ Rape Of Boys)

    Of course the Taliban also forbade women’s education, banned musical instruments and photography, and enacted strict punishments for violations to their interpretation of Islamic law. And in their short takeover of Kunduz, they returned to the spirit of their old rule, executing female doctors and pillaging public and private property.

    The U.S. has undeniably been forced to embrace unsavory allies in Afghanistan. The current Afghan government risks losing nationwide trust, if it continues to alienate tribes that often implicitly back the Taliban.

    Follow Ivan Plis on Twitter

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    Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact licensing@dailycallernewsfoundation.org.

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