A new Amnesty report alleges that the Taliban shot dead 13 people, including a 17-year-old girl and former government security forces in Afghanistan Daykundi province.

When Daykundi province fell into the hands of the Taliban on August 14, roughly 34 members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANDSF) thought that the only thing they could do was seek safety in the Khidir district. 

They had the government's military equipment and weapons with them. Thus, it couldn't be too difficult for them to survive until they find that vital safety.

But things did not work as they had hoped. The Taliban had already begun to establish its own authority over wide fragments of the region. 

Day by day, their hope of finding protection faded away. And eventually, surrender seemed the only option. 

Mohammad Azim Sedaqat, one of the members of the security forces, led the surrender and arranged to decommission the group’s weapons in front of the Taliban. Ultimately, on August 29, the men discussed surrendering fully to the Taliban as this was the only way out.

The blood-drenched day

On 30 August, about 300 Taliban fighters accompanied by a convoy came to Dahani Qul village where the ANDSF members, some with their families, were staying.

The former government security forces were now facing their long-standing fear of being hunted down by the Taliban. 

The ANDSF members immediately left the area with their families and hit the road with their vehicles. However, one vehicle remained stuck close to Kahor village and triggered the horrific and bloody events that were considered war crimes. 

The Taliban fighters caught up with them and started a constant fire on the crowd of people. Masuma, a 17-year-old girl and a civilian were shot dead, as they desperately tried to flee amid the gunfire.

Soon after, one of the ANDSF members shot back, killing one Taliban fighter and injuring another.

As the Taliban's assault continued with non-stop shooting, they killed two ANDSF members, who were outgunned and outnumbered, as they made attempts to flee with their families. 

Seeing the bloodshed, the ANDSF members began to surrender to avoid getting killed. But on the contrary, they were signing their own death warrant without realizing it. After nine more ANDSF members surrendered, the Taliban immediately took them to a nearby river basin and executed them, the report said. 

Mourners from the Shiite Hazara community gather next to the coffins of miners, who were killed in an attack by gunmen in the mountainous Machh area, during a sit-in protest at the eastern bypass on the outskirts of Quetta on January 7, 2021.
Mourners from the Shiite Hazara community gather next to the coffins of miners, who were killed in an attack by gunmen in the mountainous Machh area, during a sit-in protest at the eastern bypass on the outskirts of Quetta on January 7, 2021. (AFP)

According to several videos and photographs taken in the aftermath of the killings and examined by Amnesty, the 11 corps of ANDSF members whose ages ranged from 28 to 46 were forced to line up and killed by the headshot bullets. 

Later, it was understood that the Taliban killed 13 people who were all Hazara-origin.

Taliban fighter: ''I can kill again.”

The following day, villagers brought the bodies to Dahani Qul, giving them family plots for burial. 

Then, the Taliban had warned the remaining family members that anyone who had fled should return, and surrender in three days.

Most strikingly, according to the interviewees' statements, one senior Taliban official urged them by saying: “I have killed people for the past 20 years. Killing is easy for me. I can kill again.”

On September 1, Sadiqullah Abed, the Taliban-appointed head of police for Daykundi province dismissed all the accusations regarding killing and merely confirmed that a member of the Taliban had been injured in an attack in Daykundi. 

But the pictures and videos taken after the executions were showing the opposite as solid shreds of evidence.

“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 Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary-General.

The movement frequently violates the rights of those they recognize as their opponents or former government employees and kills people who have already surrendered. 

Although the Taliban claimed not to be targeting employees of the former government, these killings display a clear contradiction.

Additionally, this is not the Taliban's first massacre against the Hazara people. Previously, an Amnesty report revealed how the Taliban fighters exterminated nine ethnic Hazara men after taking control of Ghazni province. Some were brutally tortured after being accused of working for the Afghan government.

“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. The new government must make clear that such grave violations will not be tolerated, and that those responsible will be prosecuted.” 

Source: TRT World