The Taliban hunted and threatened city employees who didn't show up to work in one of the first places they seized, in a sign of what could happen to the rest of the country

·2 min read
  • The Taliban seized the Afghan capital of Kabul on Sunday and now effectively control Afghanistan.

  • In cities seized days ago, city workers were in hiding, but the Taliban forced them to work.

  • The only sure way out of Kabul now is via the airport, which is controlled by the US military.

  • See more stories on Insider's business page.

The Taliban are reportedly hunting down and threatening people who don't show up for work in Kunduz, one of the first cities they reclaimed, in a sign of what may be in store for the rest of the country.

On Sunday, the Taliban took control of the capital Kabul, completing an expansion which has seen the group seize most provincial capitals, including Kunduz, from the Afghan government in a matter of months following the US troop withdrawal.

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani fled Kabul on Sunday, and Taliban leaders occupied the presidential palace soon after. The US military has set up a perimeter around the Kabul airport as many Afghans attempt to flee the country.

But the Taliban have already made a lasting impact in cities they seized just days ago.

In Kunduz, which was seized on August 8, civil servants responsible for restoring downed power lines, conducting trash collections, and restoring the water supply immediately hid at home, The New York Times reported.

Frustrated with the lack of services, the presiding Taliban commander then dispatched soldiers to forcibly return them to work, The Times reported.

According to the report, Taliban fighters went around knocking on doors, and a notice at a local hospital read: "Employees must return to work or face punishment from the Taliban."

Scores of shops in Kunduz also remained closed, The Times reported, as shopkeepers feared their supplies would be looted by Taliban fighters.

"People are scared, they are not happy, and if anyone says that people are happy, he is lying," a civil servant with the public health directorate told The Times. "Everyone is wondering, what will happen to our future?"

Ahead of the Taliban's arrival in Kabul on Sunday, women also rushed to stores to panic buy burqas, The Guardian reported. The last time the Taliban were in power, in the 1990s, the wearing of burqas was policed strictly.

Kabul's vendors were also said to be hiking their prices for burqas in light of the Taliban takeover.

"Last year these burqas cost AFS 200 ($2.50). Now they're trying to sell them to us for AFS 2,000 to 3,000 ($25 to $37)," a woman identified as Aaila told The Guardian.

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