In an effort to find new ways to finance its insurgency, the Taliban switched taxes and threatened news agencies in central Afghanistan if they reject the demands of the militant group.
The Taliban have recently demanded that media in central Ghazni province, "The Taliban contacted us by phone in the early spring and demanded 4,000 dollars, saying it was the tax they are now wearing on media across the country," said Ahmad Farid Omari, managing editor a local TV station told VOA.
"We often report threats to Afghan officials, but no action is taken, after being warned and threatened several times, we finally pay." Omari added.
Unlimited journalists, or RSF, a global watchdog organization overseeing media freedom Monday also reported Taliban militants threatening to ban media organizations across the province from operating if they refuse to pay the demands.  However, Afghan officials, not to exaggerate the issue by saying the practice is not widespread and the government has taken the necessary measures to ensure the security of media organizations. [my/jm]