In Bagdhis province, Afghans say the Taliban burned down their homes, killed their family members, and didn't allow the survivors to properly bury their loved ones' remains.
Gen. Scott Miller warned the Taliban against offensive operations on Tuesday, insisting that the US still has the firepower to conduct air strikes against insurgents.
Estimates vary on the number of Afghan religious scholars who have been murdered in the past year, but the pattern is clear: if you speak against the militant group, your days might be numbered.
Reports also suggest the Taliban are using children to handle explosives and continuing the criminal practice of bacha bazi, the sexual exploitation of boys.
The Taliban's burning of the Koran has sparked outrage among religious scholars across Afghanistan, and undermine's group mantra of 'jihad'.
Polio cases are rising in Afghanistan's western region due to the Taliban's 'unforgivable crime' of preventing innocent children from being immunised against the virus, local authorities say.
The meeting is the first time Pakistani scholars have joined their Afghan counterparts in explicitly supporting the peace process.
It will continue to fund and advise Afghan forces fighting the Taliban, and conduct 'over the horizon' air missions, US Central Command commander Gen. Frank McKenzie also said.
A senior Herat official said the commander of the 7-member cell was directed by Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC) to attack and assassinate members of security forces.
Security officials say members of Iran's Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps have been directing the Taliban militarily in parts of Afghanistan against government forces.