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Taliban Resurgence Fueled by Corpse Removal Campaign
Afghanistan - Seven years after being routed by American and Northern Alliance forces, the Taliban is back and stronger than ever - a resurgence being fueled in no small part by a popular campaign of corpse disposal that has already removed thousands of dead bodies left littered across the country since 2001.
According to regional experts, the militias that have assumed control over most of the country since the Taliban's fall have greatly increased Afghanistan's domestic production of corpses without establishing any means to subsequently remove them from the landscape, effectively alienating the majority of the population who disfavor the presence of rotting, maggot infested corpses everywhere they look.
"These men make many, many corpses, but never take them away afterward," complained an Afghani farmer from Nangarhar Province, "If you use your rifle to shoot into a crowd of women and children, you should clean up after yourself. It is common courtesy."
Until the members of the Taliban assumed the burden, efforts by locals to reduce the number of corpses gathering in their fields, along their roadsides, and amidst their shuttered villages and abandoned marketplaces by dragging them into shallow, hastily dug ditches reportedly only led to the accumulation of more corpses.
"If the militias see you trying to bury the body of a relative or friend they robbed and murdered, they will take whatever you have and kill you," said one man, "Of course, even if you are not trying to bury anyone and they see you, they will most likely empty your pockets and leave you dead."
Though many Afghanis don't share the same rigid interpretation of Islam promoted by the Taliban, more are becoming willing to make difficult ideological concessions in exchange for not being turned into corpses themselves in the absence of a functional NATO-backed government.
Spoke one Afghani woman: "The Taliban would beat me if I were to try to educate myself, have a job, or even be found in possession of a stuffed animal or sewing catalog, but I would rather be beaten for a stupid reason than be raped and murdered for none at all."
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