Conflicts & War

Taliban killed 13 members of Hazara minority in Afghanistan: Amnesty

Kabul, Oct 5 (EFE).- The nonprofit Amnesty International (AI) reported Tuesday that 13 members of the Hazara Shia minority were killed by the Taliban in Daikundi province in central Afghanistan, which however has been rejected by the Islamist group.

“Taliban forces unlawfully killed 13 ethnic Hazaras, including a 17-year-old girl, in Afghanistan’s Daykundi province after members of the security forces of the former government surrendered,” AI said in a statement.

The incident occurred on Aug.30 in the town of Kahor in Khidir district, AI said after reviewing photographs and videos of what happened and contacting eyewitnesses.

The Taliban captured the province on August 14, just a day before taking control of Kabul.

According to the investigation, some 34 members of the Afghan security forces belonging to the Shia minority took refuge in Khidir and negotiated their surrender to the Taliban fighters on Aug.29.

The arrival of some three hundred armed extremists the following day caused several members of the security forces and their families to try and flee.

According to eyewitness testimony, the Taliban extrajudicially executed nine of the security forces members after they had surrendered in what appear to be war crimes, said AI.

The nonprofit aded that two security forces members and two civilians – including a 17-year-old girl – were killed as they attempted to flee when the Taliban opened fire on a crowd.

“These cold-blooded executions are further proof that the Taliban are committing the same horrific abuses they were notorious for during their previous rule of Afghanistan,” said Agnes Callamard, AI’s Secretary General.

“The Taliban must immediately cease these cruel acts of revenge, and ensure employees of the former government and their families can live safely in Afghanistan,” she added.

One of the Hazara leaders and member of the Afghan parliament under the condition of anonymity confirmed to EFE the killing of 11 security forces members and said that the village’s inhabitants are being “extorted by various means to pay money and hand over a part of their crops” to the Islamists.

On the other hand, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi, in an interaction with EFE, expressed complete rejection of the AI report.

“In some cases some people might be killed during clashes but we don’t have any case in which our Mujahidins have killed surrendered people and former security forces,” said Karimi.

Interior Ministry spokesperson Qari Saeed Khosty said the report “biased” since “it was not coordinated with the Islamic Emirate (as the Taliban call themselves).”

“This is a propaganda and is not right. We have told all rights organizations to come and impartially investigate the issues and allegations, and not prepare something by themselves and use it as a propaganda,” Khosty told EFE.

In recent years, the Hazaras have been the frequent target of attacks claimed by the Islamic State (IS), who they regard as apostates, although the ousted Afghan Government also routinely blamed the Taliban for the killings. EFE


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