The Taliban unlawfully killed 13 ethnic Hazaras in the Afghan province of Daykundi on Aug. 30, human rights group Amnesty International said in a new investigation released on Oct. 5.
According to the Amnesty report, those killed include 11 former government soldiers, nine of whom surrendered to the Taliban after the militant group took control of the province on Aug. 14, adding that the killings appeared to be war crimes.
The Taliban also killed two civilians, including a 17-year-old girl, who attempted to flee when the Taliban forces opened fire on a crowd of people, the Amnesty report said.
Amnesty International said they obtained eyewitness testimony and verified photographs and video evidence taken in the aftermath of the killings that showed the corpses of the 11 soldiers with several 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,” Amnesty International Secretary General Agnes Callamard said.
“The Taliban say they are not targeting former employees of the previous government, but these killings contradict such claims,” Callamard further said, calling for the Taliban to “immediately cease these cruel acts of revenge.”
The report further said that Sadiqullah Abed, the Taliban-appointed chief of police for Daykundi province, denied the killings on Sept. 1.
Speaking to BBC News, the Taliban denied Amnesty’s allegations.
“This report is one sided and we call on all international organizations to come and conduct a proper investigation in the field,” Taliban’s Interior Ministry Spokesperson Qari Saeed Khosti said, adding that the report was “not an acceptable conclusion.”
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