KHOST, Afghanistan - Afghans call them 'night letters' -- notes scattered or pushed under doorways by Taliban militants in the dead of night, threatening villagers' lives if they cooperate with foreign forces and the government.
The threats have picked up in recent weeks in areas across southeastern Afghanistan, U.S. officers and Afghans say, as the Taliban intensify their activities along the Pakistan border and in mountainous communities inland towards Kabul.
The notes are often poorly written but the message is clear -- have nothing to do with the foreign troops or serve in the government they back, otherwise, your business will be destroyed, your livestock snatched or your throat cut.
At least six people have had either throats slit or were beheaded by the militants for allegedly acting as spies for the foreign forces only in recent weeks in various parts of southeastern Afghanistan, according to officials and the Taliban.
Brutal, barbaric evil bastages.