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Amnesty Says Taliban 'Executed' 13 Ethnic Hazaras After Taking Control Of Kabul


Members of the Taliban patrol on a pickup truck in Kabul on September 30.

Amnesty International says Taliban forces unlawfully killed 13 ethnic Hazaras, including a 17-year-old girl, two weeks after the hard-line Islamist group toppled the internationally recognized government in Kabul in mid-August.

The killings of two civilians and 11 members of the Afghan National Defense Security Forces (ANDSF) took place in the village of Kahor in the central province of Daykundi on August 30 as they attempted to flee ahead of the arrival of Taliban fighters, the London-based human rights watchdog said in statement on October 5.

According to eyewitness testimony gathered by Amnesty International, nine of the Afghan national security forces were killed after they had surrendered themselves to the Taliban in what Amnesty said appears to be "war crimes."

Amnesty said it had reviewed videos and photographs showing the corpses of 11 men lined up, with many showing bullet wounds to their heads.

“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 Amnesty Secretary-General Agnes Callamard.

She urged the Taliban-led government to “make clear that such grave violations will not be tolerated, and that those responsible will be prosecuted.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahed rejected Amnesty's allegations, telling RFE/RL’s Radio Azadi: “We completely reject this report that such an incident has happened somewhere."

The Taliban has promised not to launch revenge attacks on those who worked with foreign forces or the previous Afghan government following the capture of Kabul on August 15.

The mainly Shi’ite Hazara community is Afghanistan's third-largest ethnic group. It members have faced long-term discrimination and persecution in predominantly Sunni Afghanistan.

In a report published in August, Amnesty International documented the killing and torture of nine ethnic Hazaras in the eastern province of Ghazni in July as the militants were taking control of the country in a lightning offensive.

The Taliban was known for its brutal rule of Afghanistan that deprived women and ethnic minorities of their rights, before it was ousted by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001.

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