KABUL — The Taliban forced a Swedish nonprofit group to close 42 health facilities it runs in eastern Afghanistan, the organization said Wednesday, the latest bid by the insurgents to show strength amid negotiations to end the country’s nearly 18-year war.
In Sweden, the group’s director called the closures ‘‘an obvious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law’’ and demanded the facilities be allowed to reopen right away.
The Taliban currently control nearly half of Afghanistan and are more powerful than at any time since the October 2001 US-led invasion.
Sonny Mansson, the country director of the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan, said the Taliban threatened the NGO’s staff by saying that if they do not close the facilities, ‘‘it would have consequences for themselves and their families.’’
‘‘We treat equally anyone who needs medical care regardless of who they are. Everyone who needs help gets it,’’ Mansson said, adding the facilities that closed over the weekend were in a Taliban-controlled area of Maidan Wardan province.