The Taliban has reportedly ordered Afghan military and intelligence personnel to leave their homes and return to their bases.
Questions surround the group's intentions after an Afghan peace activist tweeted a photo of a letter, apparently signed by Afghanistan's acting prime minister.
One expert told Forces News "order" on the streets could be behind any such decision – those who fought the Taliban until this summer's takeover seemingly told to transfer from private lands to designated territories.
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The suggestion has prompted fears of retribution attacks from the Taliban, though some believe the group may genuinely wish to use the personnel.
Professor Amalendu Misra, International Politics at Lancaster University, said the acting leadership in Afghanistan knows "exactly" where former soldiers come from and could have acted already had they been "serious" about retribution.
Instead, he said there may be other motives behind the reported orders.
Favourable projections to the international community could be one incentive, while controlling the public "order" may be another, Prof. Misra told Forces News.
It remains unclear whether Afghan personnel are willing to work with the Taliban.