Taliban arrests top Afghan cleric who spoke out against insurgents

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Taliban arrests top Afghan cleric who spoke out against insurgents

The Taliban has reportedly arrested a top cleric who had called on the country to resist the militant group’s insurgency — sharing a photo of him blindfolded.

Maulvi Mohammad Sardar Zadran, the former head of the National Council of Religious Scholars of Afghanistan, was photographed looking forlorn as he sat on the ground with his hands clasped together and a strip of brown material covering his eyes.

The clip was released by the Taliban as proof that it had arrested the outspoken cleric, according to the Pajhwok Afghan News agency.

Zadran had been a religious adviser to runaway President Ashraf Ghani and had called on Afghans to resist the Taliban as they rose to take back the country, The Times of London said.

His son Samiullah told RFE/RL that his father was forced from his home in Khost and driven away by Taliban fighters on Sunday. There was no immediate word on where he was being held or if he was safe.

Despite reports of the Taliban offering amnesty to anyone who worked against them in the past, there are reports of executions committed by the group.
Despite reports of the Taliban offering amnesty to anyone who worked against them in the past, there are reports of executions committed by the group.
AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi
According to the Cleric's son Samiullah, the Taliban forced his father from his home and drove away.
According to the Cleric’s son Samiullah, the Taliban forced his father from his home and drove away.
AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi
Taliban forces move in to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport, after the final US plane left.
Taliban forces move in to secure the Hamid Karzai International Airport, after the final US plane left.
EPA/STRINGER
Taliban special forces inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after US forces completely withdrew.
Taliban special forces inside the Hamid Karzai International Airport after US forces completely withdrew.
AP Photo/Khwaja Tawfiq Sediqi

The reported display of him blindfolded and arrested again contradicts the Taliban’s claim that it wanted peace and was offering an amnesty to anyone who had resisted or worked against the group in the past.

There have since been numerous reports of mass violence, troops hunting people door-to-door and even summary executions.

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