ISIS beheading of 3 brothers exemplifies militancy's risks to loved ones

By Khalid Zerai

A screen shot from an ISIS propaganda video shows three dead prisoners and their ISIS killers, including children, brandishing their weapons.

A screen shot from an ISIS propaganda video shows three dead prisoners and their ISIS killers, including children, brandishing their weapons.

NANGARHAR -- Those seeking to support the Taliban or the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" (ISIS) should think twice, considering that doing so puts loved ones and family members at risk.

The beheadings of three brothers on April 22 in the Tarili area of Chaparhar District, Nangarhar Province, as a result of Taliban-ISIS feuding is one recent example. Their father, who was killed by ISIS the previous year, had links to the Taliban, according to relatives and government sources.

"ISIS gunmen forced these three brothers out of their homes and beheaded them," Chaparhar District Governor Malim Mashooq told Salaam Times.

Futures destroyed

The three brothers were on track for a bright future.

Mohammad Naim, 27, graduated from the Department of Stomatology at Roshan University in Jalalabad last year, while 22-year-old Nisar Ahmad was studying at a two-year nursing programme at Ariana University in Nangarhar Province. Abdul Wahab, 17, was a 12th grade student at Tarili High School.

Four members of ISIS broke into the family home, shooting Naim dead and wounding his wife, according to a relative of the brothers who wished to remain anonymous.

They then took the two other brothers to a nearby cave and killed them before beheading all three of them.

"A younger brother of the three remained at home, and one other brother lives abroad, far away," said the relative, adding that no other male family members are alive. How the younger brother at home escaped death was not reported.

ISIS killed the head of the household, Dr. Mohammad Nawab, a year ago because he had good relations with the Taliban, with some locals saying that he was an important commander, according to the family member.

Seeking revenge

The two groups have clashed numerous times in recent years in various provinces, fighting over resources and leaving dozens of militants dead on both sides.

"Following the assassination of their father, the sons were trying to avenge their father. ISIS realised that and came first," the relative said.

A government source confirmed to Salaam Times on condition of anonymity that the father was killed and beheaded by ISIS last year, purportedly over his ties with the Taliban and local militant commanders.

Local residents also told Salaam Times that the brothers wished for revenge.

"It is one issue what their father was doing, but these sons lived a normal life, and they were killed in a very cruel way," Ataullah Khogyani, a spokesperson for the Nangarhar provincial governor, told Salaam Times.

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