Security

Taliban execute 28 surrendered police officers in Uruzgan, officials say

AFP

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In this photograph taken on September 26, 2016, Afghan security personnel take part in an operation against Taliban militants in Garmaw Manda, Uruzgan Province. [Javed Tanveer/AFP]

KABUL -- The Taliban have killed 28 paramilitary policemen in fighting in Uruzgan Province, officials said Wednesday (September 23).

One local official said the Taliban executed the police after they had surrendered.

If proven, a mass shooting of dozens of captives would mark a grim new low point in Afghanistan's recent violence, which has been worsening in recent weeks.

The incident occurred in Gezab District, where intense fighting has raged for days as the Taliban besiege outmanned and outgunned Afghan police and army outposts.

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A police officer stands guard in Tirin Kot, Uruzgan Province, September 14. [Abdul Manan Arghand]

Taliban fighters offered 28 Local and National Police a chance to go home if they surrendered Tuesday (September 22) night, said Zergai Ebadi, a spokesman for the Uruzgan governor.

"But after taking their guns, the Taliban killed them all," Ebadi said.

Provincial Council Chairman Amir Mohammad confirmed the death toll. Heavy fighting was ongoing, he said.

Mohammad would not say if the men had been killed before or after surrendering.

A third local official, speaking on condition of anonymity, put the toll at 28-30 police, adding that three policemen managed to escape.

The Interior Affairs Ministry declined to comment on the circumstances of the deaths.

In a statement, the Taliban denied it had slaughtered the policemen after they surrendered.

"Enemy claims that they were executed after surrender are baseless. Mujahidin (Taliban fighters) repeatedly asked them to lay down arms & end hostility, but they insisted on fighting," Taliban spokesman Qari Yousuf Ahmadi said on Twitter.

The 28 deaths come after at least 14 Afghan police and soldiers were killed during the same battle overnight Sunday-Monday (September 20-21).

Taliban and Afghan government negotiators are meeting in Doha, Qatar, where they are trying to find a way to end 19 years of war.

A hopeful start to the peace talks on September 12 was immediately marred by fresh violence across Afghanistan.

Negotiations are moving slowly, with the two sides trying to iron out various parameters before deciding on an agenda.

"The Afghan people have a clear and urgent priority: a ceasefire. An urgent end to the violence will, more than anything else, give us a chance to progress,” Afghan President Ashraf Ghani said at the United Nations General Assembly September 23.

Doubts about the Taliban keeping to its promises were highlighted again on September 23 when High Council for National Reconciliation Chairman Abdullah Abdullah said that a number of Taliban prisoners whom the Afghan government released as a condition for peace talks have taken up arms again -- a direct violation of the agreement brokered with the United States.

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Although Russia is blamed for starting the Afghan conflict 40 years ago, they realized their blunder and withdrew in 1989. Since then the fanatical extremists trained and financed by USA and allies, including Afghanistan's neighbors, have been waging a relentless, endless conflict that eventually drew in the USA and its NATO allies who are now totally fed up. The massive financial assistance that flowed into the country was monopolized by a few powerful groups and not much of it reached the common Afghan. Now the fanatics are on the upswing and sensing victory. They are not about to give up.

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Unfortunately, these brutal beheading, killing and executing of human beings are done in some Islamic countries every day for political, ethnic and religious reasons under the pretext of implementing of the divine decree and duty as well as the rules of Sharia. The lamp of cruelty of the oppressor will not be on till doomsday, If it is on, it will be on one night, but not the other night (poem). All dictatorial and monopolist as well as tribal governments, which are based on tyrannical, authoritarian, political, religious and ethnic textures in most of the Islamic countries have often inherited such crimes from their ancestors in the length of history. The same is true for Afghanistan. Pashtuns do not allow other ethnic groups of this country to have their share of power in the government. They consider themselves the original heirs of this country and call other ethnic groups refugees.

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Afghans are thirsty for the blood of each other, and they never refrain from killings. For the sake of power, Afghans even kill their own brothers and fathers. Their entire history is full of such events.

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A great cruelty has taken place. Killing of war prisoners is forbidden in Islam and no one has the right to kill war prisoners. Taliban must give a clear answer to the people of Afghanistan in this regard; otherwise, they will face hatred of the people.

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The country's situation is very critical. People are being killed everywhere and no one is ready to take responsibility. The only way to end this killing and violence is to make peace with Taliban. The United States must try as peace is made between the Afghan government and Taliban as soon as possible. All the people of the country have been ruined. Tens of National Police, National Army, Taliban and civilians are killed every day, but the international community, especially the United States, which is the main cause of this war and violence, is quiet. The United States must feel the responsibility and end this bloody war in Afghanistan. When it was able to overthrow the Taliban regime in less than a month twenty years ago, now it can also change the situation and bring peace to this country. If America fails to bring peace to Afghanistan, it will be responsible for all those who have been killed in the past twenty years and all the other problems that will happen in Afghanistan in the future.

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Is this the character of a Muslim? Is This Jihad? As a Muslim, I consider activities of Taliban in Afghanistan barbarism and wildness.

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