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Thousands join Taliban’s new jihad in Afghanistan: Report

Press Trust of India, India
Sep. 9, 2003 • Wednesday September 10, 2003

Almost two years after they were defeated, the Taliban leadership is recruiting thousands of extremists popularly called ‘Sarbaz’ – those who care nothing for their own lives – to fight the government of Mohd Karzai and the US-led forces in Afghanistan, reports here said.

The Taliban, were supposedly vanquished in December 2001 when American and Northern Alliance forces drove them from power, are reviving and fighting back across southern Afghanistan.

According to the report from Kandahar region of Afghanistan, students from religious seminaries across the border in the Pakistani province of Baluchistan have joined the war within Afghanistan, and are ready to take part in suicide missions, the report in The Telegraph said.

The scarcity of reconstruction work in Afghanistan’s southern regions, where people lack healthcare, education or even wells for drinking water, has boosted the Taliban’s recruitment drive, the report said.

While hundreds have already joined the fight, Taliban leaders claim that many more religious students from Pakistan are ready to go.

Hundreds of tribesmen were acting as the eyes and ears for the movement, supplying information on the movement of government forces. Some of the volunteer children were as young as 12. Quoting Mohammed Amin, 30-year-old leader of a Taliban group, the report said Taliban fighters had managed to join the Afghan government army, where they acted as spies and saboteurs.

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