The Taliban have stepped up their search for people who worked for Nato forces or the previous Afghan government, a UN document has warned.

It said the militants have been going door-to-door to find targets and threatening their family members.

The hardline Islamist group has tried to reassure Afghans since seizing power, promising there would be “no revenge”.

But there are fears the Taliban have changed little since the brutal 1990s.

The warning the group was targeting “collaborators” came in a confidential document by the RTO Norwegian Center for Global Analyses, which provides intelligence to the UN.

“There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” Christian Nellemann, who heads the group behind the report, told.

“It is in writing that, unless they give themselves in, the Taliban will arrest and prosecute, interrogate and punish family members on behalf of those individuals.”

He warned that anyone on the Taliban’s blacklist was in severe danger and that there could be mass executions.

Foreign powers are continuing efforts to get their nationals out of Afghanistan. On Friday, a Nato official said that more than 18,000 people have been evacuated in the last five days from Kabul airport.

Some 6,000 more, among them former interpreters for foreign armed forces, are on standby to be flown out late on Thursday night or early on Friday.

The aim is to double evacuation efforts over the weekend, the official said.

Outside the airport, the situation remains chaotic. The Taliban have been blocking Afghans trying to flee, with one video showing a child being handed to a US soldier.

In other developments:
  • More anti-Taliban protests have taken place in several cities. In the capital Kabul, demonstrators waved the national flag while there were reportedly casualties among protesters in Asadabad
  • One of those who died falling from a US plane leaving Kabul has been identified as 19-year-old Zaki Anwari, who played for Afghanistan’s national youth football team
  • The Taliban now control thousands of US-made armored vehicles, 30-40 aircraft, and a large number of small arms, US officials told Reuters

The Taliban captured Kabul on Sunday, having swept across the country as foreign forces withdrew.

Their victory returns the group to power 20 years on from when they were toppled in a US-led invasion.

The group’s previous stint in power saw widespread abuses, including public executions and banning women from the workplace.

But in their first news conference since retaking control of Afghanistan, the group presented a conciliatory tone, promising women’s rights would be respected “within the framework of Islamic law”.

The Taliban have reportedly pledged not to force women to wear the burka – a one-piece veil that covers the face and body. Instead, the hijab – or a headscarf – will be compulsory.

A Taliban fighter on patrol in Kandahar
The warning comes despite the Taliban saying they would not carry out revenge on Afghans

They also said they did not want “any internal or external enemies” and that there would be an amnesty for former members of the security forces and those who worked with foreign powers.

International powers – and many Afghans – remain skeptical.

The UN chief Antonio Guterres said the body’s only leverage over the Taliban was the militant’s desire for international recognition.

Asked if he thought the Taliban had changed in an interview, US President Joe Biden said no, adding the group faced an “existential” choice about whether they want to be recognized.

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