“Tribal elders have been killed by the Taliban across the south and east of the country; in recent months, elders in Kandahar Province have been especially hard hit. At least 13 have been shot since February.
In the mid-1990s the killings were common practice in Khost as well when the Taliban were seeking to take over Afghanistan, said Arsala Jamal, the former governor of Khost, who is now the acting minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs. By killing just a few elders, the Taliban were able to terrify the others and thus found it easier to gain dominance, he said.
The elders who were attacked this week were from villages that had received grants worth just a few thousand dollars from Afghanistanâ€™s National Solidarity program, which is one of the governmentâ€™s most successful efforts to spur grass-roots development projects. The Taliban, hearing of the awards, demanded the money, said General Ishaqzai. "
2010-05-29 16:54:36 UTC