Afghanistan’s first day under Taliban rule in nearly two decades has already been marked with fear and violence as officials with the new government are killing individuals as they vow to impose a strict Islamic way of life now that American forces have left the country.
The Taliban celebrated reclaiming control as the U.S. ended the 20-year war with their departure. Afghanistan swiftly fell to Taliban forces in recent weeks, during which now-former Afghan president Ashraf Ghani fled the country.
“We hope that Afghanistan will not be invaded again, that it will be rebuilt, remain independent, and that a holy Islamic system will rule,” Taliban spokesman Zabiullah Mujahid said according to the Wall Street Journal.
Hours after the U.S. withdrew from Afghanistan, Taliban members were going door to door in Kabul and executing people, a senior U.S. official told Fox News.
So far, it is unclear who the victims are, but a Politico report confirmed by Fox News said that U.S. officials in Kabul gave the Taliban a list of American citizens, green card holders, and Afghan allies in an effort to grant them entry to the airport which resulted in outrage from military officials behind the scenes. President Biden has acknowledged that “there may have been” such a list.
“Basically, they just put all those Afghans on a kill list,” one defense official told Politico.
Similar actions had already been taken in other parts of the country before the American military even left. Last Wednesday, a former translator for a high-ranking U.S. Army Ranger told Fox News the Taliban had started executing allies of the U.S. in public, in provinces away from the media attention of Kabul.
“They are not doing really bad stuff in Kabul right now because there’s a lot of media focus on Kabul, but they already started public execution in other provinces where a lot of media is not available or covering it,” the interpreter said.
Women and LGBT people are also being targeted by the Taliban. According to a report by the UK’s ITV, two Taliban members pretended to befriend a gay man, claimed to be able to help him escape the country, and then lured him to a location where they beat and raped him.
“My friends in Afghanistan are scared, they don’t know what will happen to them in the future so they’re just trying to hide,” LGBT activist Artemis Akbary told the outlet.
That incident reportedly took place days before the Americans even left.
Last week, the Taliban warned women to stay home and not go to work, claiming that this was for their own safety as their fighters had not been trained to know how to deal with them.
Activist and former Afghan judge Najla Ayoubi said in an interview with Sky News that in recent weeks young women were “being shipped into neighboring countries in coffins to be used as sex slaves,” and that families were being coerced into marrying off young daughters to Taliban fighters.
Meanwhile, more than 100 Americans looking to escape Afghanistan remain left behind after U.S. forces left. On Tuesday, the State Department issued a level four travel advisory.
“Do not travel to Afghanistan due to civil unrest, armed conflict, crime, terrorism, kidnapping, and COVID-19,” the State Department said in a tweet. “Travel to all areas of Afghanistan is unsafe.”
Fox News’ Lara Logan, Tyler O’Neil, Teny Sahakian, and Emma Colton contributed to this report.