A young Muslim man in Afghanistan says he fears for his life because he wants to pray in a mosque that has been closed down by the Taliban.
The Afghan city of Mazar-e-Sharif is one of the main destinations for foreign tourists.
It was the first Islamic city to be established after the fall of the Taliban and has been a hot spot for foreign jihadists for decades.
But in late 2016, Taliban fighters seized control of the city, which they had occupied since 2001.
The Taliban imposed a strict interpretation of Islam and have targeted all aspects of the faith, from the women’s dress to the way women pray.
The group’s violence has been blamed for an increasing number of suicide bombings and shootings in Kabul and neighboring provinces.
The new mosque is located on the outskirts of Mazars-e Sharif and is closed to foreigners.
Mohammad Shah Mohammad, a 27-year-old from Tajikistan who came to Afghanistan in 2014, says he is worried about what will happen if the mosque is bombed again.
He fears for the safety of his family and himself, which he is trying to help establish in the new mosque.
The Associated Press visited the newly opened mosque on March 24 and found that the men in prayer were mostly men.
They said they were mostly from Tajakistan and that they were in the Taliban’s hands.
The Taliban’s official website says that they “have declared war on all Muslims, Christians, Jews and Hindus.”
It’s hard to tell who’s doing what in the mosque and whether they’re doing it for ideological reasons or to avoid the Taliban or to pray together with their friends and relatives, Mohammad said.
Mohammad said the Taliban fighters are wearing Islamic attire and are carrying weapons and grenades.
He says they are also making threats to destroy the new shrine.
The Kabul police said they had received a complaint about the mosque in the capital, but did not elaborate.
The AP also visited the city’s main mosque, which is located in the old district of Mazarbakir and is open to the public.
Mohammad, the young man, says that the Taliban will probably destroy the mosque, too, if it continues to open in Mazar Sharif.
The mosque has been under Taliban control for several years and was reopened for prayers after the group was defeated in 2015.
The U.S. State Department has said the Islamic center is being used as a recruitment tool by the group.