Photo: AP

Taliban to expand morality police monitoring in Balkh

Officials from the Taliban’s Ministry for the Propagation of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice in the northern Balkh province have ordered its officers to expand their work by patrolling three days per week.

The officers, who are responsible for enforcing the Taliban’s strict interpretation of Islamic law, have been instructed to increase their presence and crack down on activities deemed immoral or un-Islamic.

Nasrat Hutak, the spokesperson for the ministry in the province, stated that the officers were ordered to monitor women’s hijab and encourage people to pray. In addition, they were instructed to prevent music from being played at weddings.

The Taliban has previously warned people in Balkh and other provinces to shut their businesses at prayer times and gather at local mosques.

Earlier this month, the group sealed 70 shops in the city of Lashkargah, the capital of southern Helmand province, and fined owners 10,000 AFN ($111) each for failing to attend Friday prayers.