The Taliban have started targeting tribal elders, killing five of them in recent months in the Omna district of southeastern Paktika province, locals claimed on Saturday.
The fighters have been conducting search operations for tribal elders and government employees in the district, according to residents, displaced people from the district to Sharan, the provincial capital.
Hundreds of masked militants including Pakistani nationals, led by by the Taliban-designated governor, travel to different areas in vehicles with tinted glasses. Going by their hit-list, the rebels knock at the doors of elders, government employees and security personnel and kill them.
Over the past three days, Taliban have shot dead five tribal elders and seized as many others, alleged a resident of the district. He told Pajhwok Afghan News if urgent measures were not taken against the militants, the situation would worsen.
However, the deputy police chief, Nisar Ahmad Abdul Rahimzai, said only two civilians had been killed and several others abducted by the rebels.
Similarly, inhabitants of Wazikhwa district complained the insurgents were harassing civilians. Two children recently died due to fear after hearing heavy booms of gunfire and explosions in the district.
Rahimzai confirmed clashes in Wazikhwa district over the past nine days, saying the Taliban had suffered heavy casualties.
However, the insurgents denied victimising civilians in the district, saying there had been a lot of improvement in the situation Wazikhwa. (PAN)