Eleven members of the Afghan national security forces were among 13 ethnic Hazaras killed by the Taliban on August 30, the Associated Press reported.
The killings occurred two weeks after the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in mid-August. According to an investigation by Amnesty International, the killings took place in Kahor in Daykundi province in central Afghanistan.
Two of the victims were civilians, including a 17-year-old girl. Most of the Afghan soldiers killed had surrendered to the insurgents.
On Sunday, five civilians were killed by a roadside bomb outside the Eid Gah mosque, and on Monday, the Islamic State insurgent group claimed responsibility. ISIS posted on its media arm, the Aamaq news agency, that the bomber was targeting prominent Taliban members who were attending a memorial service.
Newsweek Newsletter sign-up >
In retaliation, Taliban spokesman Bilal Karimi posted on Twitter that Taliban forces raided an ISIS group operations center in Kabul.
For more reporting by the Associated Press, see below.
Taliban raid came hours after mosque bombing
Eleven members of the Afghan national security forces were among 13 ethnic Hazaras killed by the Taliban on August 30. Above, a Taliban fighter lays down his AK-47 rifle during Friday prayers at a mosque in Kabul, Afghanistan. Felipe Dana/AP Photo
Sunday’s bombing was the deadliest attack in Kabul since the Taliban took control of Afghanistan with the chaotic departure of the last U.S. troops on August 31. ISIS had also claimed responsibility for the horrific bombing on August 26 that killed more than 169 Afghans and 13 U.S. military personnel outside the Kabul airport, where thousands of people were trying to reach the airport to escape Taliban rule.
Newsweek subscription offers >
The world has been watching whether the Taliban would live up to their initial promises of tolerance and inclusiveness toward women and ethnic minorities, among them the Shiite Hazaras. However, Taliban actions so far, such as renewed restrictions on women and the appointment of an all-male government, have been met with dismay by the international community.
Hazaras make up around 9 percent of Afghanistan’s 36 million people. They are often targeted because they are Shiite Muslims in a Sunni-majority country.
Amnesty’s secretary general, Agnes Callamard, said that “these cold-blooded executions [of the Hazaras] are further proof that the Taliban are committing the same horrific abuses they were notorious for during their previous rule of Afghanistan.”
Taliban spokespersons Zabihullah Mujahid and Karimi did not respond to calls from AP seeking comment.
U.S. Must ‘Ally-shore’ to Reassure Partners, Reassert Power of Democracies
Afghanistan Sees Largest Airlift Since U.S. Exit Connected to Music School
72 Percent of Americans Think Afghan Allies Should Get Refugee Status: Poll
The rights group said Sadiqullah Abed, the Taliban-appointed chief of police for Daykundi, denied any killings had happened and only said that a member of the Taliban had been wounded in an attack in the province.
The Taliban took control of Daykundi province on August 14, according to the Amnesty report, and an estimated 34 former soldiers sought safety in Khidir district. The soldiers, who had government military equipment and weaponry with them, agreed to surrender to the Taliban.
Mohammad Azim Sedaqat, who led the group’s surrender, arranged to decommission the weapons in the presence of Taliban members.
On August 30, an estimated 300 Taliban fighters arrived in a convoy close to Dahani Qul village, where the security forces members were staying, some with family members, according to Amnesty’s report. As the security forces attempted to leave the area with their families, Taliban fighters caught up with them and opened fire on the crowd, killing a 17-year-old girl named Masuma. One soldier fired back, killing a Taliban fighter and wounding another.
The Taliban continued to shoot as the families fled, killing two soldiers, according to the report. After nine security forces surrendered, the Taliban took them to a nearby river basin and killed them, according to the rights group.
Amnesty said it verified photographs and video evidence taken in the aftermath of the killings.