Taliban order fighters from Afghan homes | The Canberra times

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The Taliban have ordered their fighters to leave the private homes they had taken over during the lightning strike last month when the group took control of Afghanistan, an apparent attempt to restore order to the ranks of the Taliban. Meanwhile, the Taliban fired shots in the capital, Kabul, to break up a women’s rally calling for equality, while the regional chief of the International Federation of the Red Cross warned that Afghanistan was slipping into a deep “great humanitarian crisis” and severe financial straits next winter . The order from Taliban Prime Minister Hasan Akhund followed recent public statements by Taliban officials suggesting plans to improve the organization and marshal fighters. Taliban members who belong to the defense, domestic and intelligence services of the militant group, who live in private homes, would have to report to military bases across the country. Over the past few weeks, the Taliban have given up traditional civilian clothes and put on military uniforms to instill a touch of authority. Bilal Karimi, a Taliban security officer, confirmed the statement to the Associated Press. The Afghan army gave up most of its positions or surrendered to the Taliban during the August lightning strike, allowing Taliban fighters to capture military bases. In Kabul, the Taliban fired shots on Thursday to break up a small rally by six women calling for equal rights to education outside a local school. They confiscated posters from the women that read: “Don’t burn our books!” Other women who came to the protests in the Kart-e-Char neighborhood were later asked to go home, according to a witness who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of Taliban retaliation. Mawlawi Nasratullah, a Taliban official, later told reporters that the women had not asked permission to assemble. Since taking power, the Taliban have forcibly broken up rallies by women calling for the rights they have acquired in Afghanistan over the past 20 years not to be stripped from them. When they last ruled the country in the 1990s, the Taliban had enforced their strict interpretation of Islamic law or Sharia law, banishing women to their homes and denying them the right to education, work and a public life. At a press conference in Kabul, IFRC regional director Alexander Matheou predicted “extremely difficult months” as temperatures plummet and food shortages exacerbated by drought and poverty. Cuts in health services put many vulnerable Afghans at risk, especially in rural areas, he added. The International Federation of the Red Cross and Red Crescent Movement is asking for 36 million Swiss Francs (53 million AUD) to continue funding health clinics, emergency aid and other services in the 16 provinces of Afghanistan. On Wednesday, UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric urged donors to hasten funding of a $ 606 million ($ 839 million) flash appeal, which is only 22 percent funded, to raise 11 million Afghans for the To help out the rest of the year. “There has to be a solution to financial flows into Afghanistan to ensure that at least salaries can be paid and essential supplies – electricity and water are two of them – can be procured,” said Matheou. Australian Associated Press

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