UNITED NATIONS - The Taliban raised about $400 million last year from sources that included donations, taxing local economies and extorting money from such targets as drug dealers, cell phone operators and aid projects, according to a UN report on the militant Islamist group released on Tuesday.

The report to the UN Security Council by the sanctions monitoring team said that about $275 million of that income reached Taliban leadership and the rest was collected, spent or misappropriated at the local level.

Donations were another major source of funding, which also went directly to the Taliban leadership.

The estimate covers the financial year ended March 20, 2012.

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