At least five Iranian companies in Afghanistan’s capital are using their offices covertly to finance Taliban militants in provinces near Kabul, according to a Sunday Times investigation.

Afghan intelligence and Taliban sources have told the newspaper that the firms, set up in the past six months, provide cash for a network of district Taliban treasurers to pay battlefield expenses and bonuses for killing the enemy and destroying their vehicles.

The Iranian companies win contracts to supply materials and logistics to Afghans involved in reconstruction. The money often comes in the form of aid from foreign donors.