Kabul residents report increase in mosque attendance

Worshippers said the number of people attending prayers was rising slowly, mainly because the incidents of pickpocketing during prayers had stopped since the Taliban had captured the city.

"In the past, very few people came to the mosques because out of fear of pickpockets. There would probably be around 15 people in the mosque during morning prayers, or a few more. Now the number has increased somewhat but people are still afraid," said one worshipper as he came out of the mosque. "Everyone is asking the same question: have the Taliban come?"

The Taliban have yet to name a government more than two weeks since they swept back into power. Their 1996-2001 rule was marked by violent punishments and a ban on schooling or work for women and girls, and many Afghans and foreign governments fear a return to such practices. The militants say they have changed but have yet to spell out the rules they will enforce.

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