01/18/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Criminal Gangs Terrorize Kabul Residents

KABUL, Afghanistan -- Ghulam Farooq Hussainkhel lives on the outskirts of the Afghan capital in the latest district to fall under Taliban influence. A teacher, Hussainkhel moved last year from a neighboring district after surviving three Taliban assassination attempts for opening two girls' schools.

Taliban forces now occupy positions just five miles away from his home in Charasayab and terrorize his neighbors at night with demands that they house and feed their forces.

Hussainkhel, 53, fears they could one day force him to close the school system he now runs in the modest suburb south of Kabul, a one-street town at the base of the Hindu Kush mountain range. The Taliban, however, isn't the biggest security threat, he said. It's the criminal gangs who roam the capital, kidnapping middle-class citizens for ransom.

Read more on McClatchy Washington Bureau