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The Taliban’s Newest Public Enemy: Traffic Scofflaws

A Taliban-affiliated website warns followers to stop speeding or face a jihad.

Afghan security personnel stand near the crater of a bomb after fighting against Taliban militants at Charkhab in Kunduz province on April 23, 2016. 
Afghan security forces drove Taliban fighters back from Kunduz city, officials said, as the insurgents began the 2016 fighting season by targeting the northeastern provincial capital they briefly captured last year. / AFP / NASIR WAQIF        (Photo credit should read NASIR WAQIF/AFP/Getty Images)
Afghan security personnel stand near the crater of a bomb after fighting against Taliban militants at Charkhab in Kunduz province on April 23, 2016. Afghan security forces drove Taliban fighters back from Kunduz city, officials said, as the insurgents began the 2016 fighting season by targeting the northeastern provincial capital they briefly captured last year. / AFP / NASIR WAQIF (Photo credit should read NASIR WAQIF/AFP/Getty Images)

Road rage is about to get very deadly in Afghanistan.

On Monday, a Taliban-affiliated website issued a statement warning followers to stop speeding, follow traffic laws, and otherwise drive safely — or face a jihad waged by its so-called Department for the Prevention of Civilian Casualties.

The missive by the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan comes a day after 73 people were killed when a fuel tanker hit two passenger buses in a head-on collision in Ghazni province, south of the capital Kabul. An Al Jazeera reporter in Afghanistan said the drivers likely were speeding to avoid being stopped by the Taliban on a hostile stretch of the road.

In its statement, the Taliban said it “hereby issues a notice to all drivers and companies of all private, transport, and freight vehicles to strictly follow all traffic rules while journeying on major roads.”

“The Islamic Emirate is obliged to take Shari and legal action against all offenders from now onwards,” the Taliban statement said.

It’s worth noting that the Taliban — the purported parent organization of the Department for the Prevention of Civilian Casualties — continues to kill Afghans though suicide bombings and other attacks, including one last month in Kabul that left dozens dead and more than 300 injured. The April 19 suicide bomb against an Afghan military headquarters, launching the start of the terror group’s annual spring offensive, was declared one of the bloodiest attacks in Kabul ever.

Afghanistan’s roads are notoriously bad. The country had only about 50 miles of paved roads when the United States invaded in 2001 after the 9/11 attacks.

That’s not going to stop the Taliban from playing traffic cop.

“If any of our countrymen are harassed by drivers during their journeys, they may forward their complaints to the local Mujahideen of Islamic Emirates,” the statement read. It also urged people to call the Department for the Prevention of Civilian Casualties — allegedly, for protection.

Photo credit: NASIR WAQIF/AFP/Getty Images

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