Taliban still popular overseas
MARJAH, Afghanistan – Nearly three years after U.S.-led forces launched the biggest operation of the war to clear insurgents, foster economic growth and set a model for the rest of Afghanistan, angry residents of Helmand province said they are too afraid to go out after dark because of marauding bands of thieves.
And during the day, they say corrupt police and government officials bully them into paying bribes. After 11 years of war, many here long for a return of the Taliban. They say that under the Taliban, who routinely punished thieves by cutting off a hand, they were at least safe from crime and corruption.
“If you had a box of cash on your head, you could go to the farthest part of Marjah and no one would take it from you, even at night,” said Maulvi Daoud, who runs a cubbyhole sized-shop in the town of Marjah. “Today you bring your motorcycle in front of your shop and it will be gone. Now the situation is that you go on the road and they are standing in police and army uniform with weapons and they can take your money.”
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