Security

Afghans live in fear as terror outbreak claims innocent lives

By Omar

Unidentified gunmen have been carrying out a spate of assassinations in Farah and Herat provinces, raising fears among Afghans. [Omar/Salaam Times]

HERAT -- Unidentified gunmen have been carrying out assassinations in Farah and Herat provinces, raising residents' fears.

The latest incident occurred May 26, when assailants killed three members of a family including a child in Gulistan district, Farah province. The attackers reportedly fled the scene.

Similar type attacks disproportionately target Shia.

Last year on December 1, gunmen killed two religious scholars, two women and two men in Herat city. Two weeks prior, on November 23, gunmen on motorcycles killed two Shia religious scholars, in Herat city too.

A father looks at his son's picture on December 2, a day after terrorists killed him in Herat city. [Omar/Salaam Times]

A father looks at his son's picture on December 2, a day after terrorists killed him in Herat city. [Omar/Salaam Times]

While the "Islamic State of Iraq and Syria" Khorasan branch (ISIS-K) claimed responsibility for similar attacks before, no group, including ISIS-K, has come forward for these recent assaults.

That secretiveness adds another layer of fear, suggesting "a new enemy is emerging," said Jamah Khan Akhlaqi, 41, a son of one of the religious scholars killed in December.

"The recent attacks indicate that other terrorist groups whose goal is to kill civilians and create chaos in the country have formed," he said.

"Not knowing who our hidden enemy is worries all of us. Recent incidents have not been investigated and have almost been ignored," he added.

"When I see motorcyclists in the city or outside my home, or a fast-moving motorcycle, I'm afraid they might attack and kill us," Akhlaqi said.

Living in terror

Hamid Alemi, 45, whose uncle was killed December 1 in Herat city, lives in constant fear of the unidentified terrorist groups in Herat.

"Until terrorists are captured and punished, people will not find peace," he said. "I wish a terrorist group would claim these attacks so we would know our enemy."

Hossain, 26, who lives in Herat city and gave only his first name, described living in constant fear and never feeling safe.

"Our fear used to be limited to ISIS," he said, "but ... we don't know who these enemies are or why they're targeting innocent people."

New terrorist groups aim to destabilize Afghanistan by creating sectarian strife, Mohammad Naim Ghayur, an Afghan military analyst based in Italy, warned.

"ISIS is not the only group posing a serious threat to Afghanistan's security; other groups have emerged whose aim is to create chaos and instability in the country," he said.

"Recent terrorist attacks in some provinces, for which no group has claimed responsibility, have targeted only Shia. These attacks aim to ignite a sectarian conflict," he added.

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Ahmad Masih son of Amin Jan

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Fearful

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I think Afghans should have continued their friendship with the former Soviet Union because the Russians were stronger in friendship than the Westerners. However, since that chance was lost, now Afghans should strengthen their friendship with the Western bloc. Opposition of Afghans against the Western bloc is destroying Afghanistan. Now, if we look at the lives of people in Afghanistan, our people are living below the poverty line, and no one is happy. The reason is that not only is the economic condition of the people good now, but they also do not have hope for the future. The problem behind this is the ISIS-like projects that the West implements through Pakistan. From this perspective, it seems that the ISIS project will become more robust shortly because Afghanistan's neighbors do not want any [governing] system in Afghanistan to reach its maturity level. Until yesterday, Pakistan was killing Afghans with the help of Chinese and Russian money, weapons, and aid, and now it will use ISIS against the Taliban government and is looking for resources for this.

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Terrorist attacks take place not only in the Shiite populated provinces, but in all provinces of Afghanistan, especially in the Pashtun populated and Sunni populated provinces. Considering the past fifty years of Afghanistan's history, such terrorist organizations are supported by the intelligence agencies of Pakistan and Iran. Iran wants to expand the scope of its (Islamic!) revolution to other countries through such attacks. Meanwhile, Pakistan carries out such terrorist attacks with the orders of Western powers, especially Britain, which has been defeated several times by Afghans in the region. According to news agencies, after the new government came to power in Afghanistan, Pakistan once again wants to use Afghan youth, many of whom are unemployed, to implement the ISIS project in Afghanistan and once again face Afghans with security problems.

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As much as we follow the country's media, there is not even a single piece of such news. So far, I have not heard from any internal media, including Tolo News, Ariana News, Shamshad, and One TV, and I have not read that such terrorist attacks have taken place. A large number of innocent people have been killed. May God forgive the victims and give the families alternatives. Maulawi Khalis, who was a jihadist leader, said that we wanted to liberate Afghanistan, but it was freed much more. We have been waiting for freedom for years when America will leave, and war will be eliminated, but it seems that another new game is starting (God forbid). May God have mercy on Afghanistan and Afghans. Amen

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Nazar Mohammad, last name Amiri, graduate of grade 12, access to computer.

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First name Obaidullah, last name Miakhil, graduate of grade 12.

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Name Obaidullah Son of Jan Agha Last name Miakhil Province Takhar District Taluqan graduate of grade 12 of Aaq Masjid high school

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First name Ramin last name Amini

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