Kabul, Jul 7 (EFE).- The nonprofit Human Rights Watch (HRW) denounced Thursday the extrajudicial execution and forced disappearance of more than a hundred people in operations by the Taliban against the Islamic State (IS) group in Afghanistan.
Since coming to power almost a year ago, the Taliban have engaged in a hunt for members of the Islamic State of Khorasan group (ISKP), called the Afghan branch of the IS, which has become the Islamists’ greatest security threat.
“Taliban forces have beaten residents and have detained men they accuse of being ISKP members without legal process or revealing their whereabouts to their families. An unknown number have been summarily executed – shot, hanged, or beheaded – or forcibly disappeared,” HRW said in its latest report.
Members of the Sufi Salafi community in Kunar and Nangarhar provinces, which have been strongholds of the IS, are often targeted by the Taliban’s “abusive search operations,” the rights watchdog said.
“When they found out that I am Salafi, they shaved my beard and head in front hundreds of people and made me sit there for hours,” said a resident of Kunar’s Marawara district, according to HRW.
“Kunaris cannot say anything (about this treatment). If you do, they say you are Daesh (IS),” added the man from Kunar, who did not reveal his identity.
According to the report, since the Taliban took power in August 2021, residents of Nangahar and Kunar provinces have discovered the bodies of more than 100 men thrown in canals and other places.
“We investigated an emptied canal in Nangarhar in which over 100 bodies have been dumped between August 2021 and April 2022,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at HRW.
The investigation counted 54 bodies of men, many in an advanced state of decomposition, that showed evidence of torture and brutal executions, while health centers provided information on 118 bodies that had been found between August and December last, the report said.
“The ISKP’s numerous atrocities do not justify the Taliban’s horrific response,” Gossman said.
Since coming to power, the Taliban have led several operations against the IS in various parts of the country.
The the past 11 months, the country has witnessed some of the worst and bloodiest attacks, most claimed by the IS.
The Taliban’s chief spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid reported Thursday of a clash with alleged IS fighters, in which two alleged members of the Khorasan branch were killed and four others arrested. EFE