Residents of Malistan district in the central province of Ghazni claim that the Taliban shot and killed 43 civilians and security force members after the group attacked the district earlier this month. Similar occurrences have been reported in other areas as well.
Among those killed were two young men whose father said they were killed while leaving the area with their families and that they were not government employees or security force members.
“Taliban fighters after entering Malistan district committed war crimes and killed civilians who were not involved in the fighting. They attacked people’s homes and after looting their property, they burned residential houses,” said Mina Naderi, a civil society activist from Ghazni who read a joint statement from Malistan residents at a press conference in Kabul on Sunday.
“In the center of Malistan district, they (Taliban) also destroyed and looted shops,” she added.
The Taliban has rejected the claim by the residents.
Some of the displaced people who are in Kabul claimed that they have lost their family members in Taliban attacks, while others said their homes were damaged and destroyed in the fighting, forcing them to leave their areas.
Haji Nadir, caretaker of a 16-member family, said his sons Ramazan, 29, and Ishaq, 31, were killed by the Taliban 10 days ago when they were trying to leave the district with their families following an increase in fighting in the area.
“Who martyred the 40 civilians? Which stronghold were they in?” Nadir asked.
The two slain young men left behind five children who are now in Kabul. Figures show that at least 3,000 people have been displaced from Malistan district in the last 10 days following the Taliban attack. The eldest of the children is seven years old.
The spouses of the two young men said the Taliban blindfolded their husbands in front of their children, took them near a mosque in the area and then “opened fire on them.”
“They were taken out and were taken a bit far (from their home) and were martyred,” said Zulaikha, Ramazan Ali’s wife.
“We were on our way when we were stopped by the Taliban. The two were taken (Taliban) and both were killed,” said Jamal, Ishaq Ali’s wife.
Malistan’s displaced residents also claimed that Taliban fighters collected food from homes in the district and issued an announcement saying that going forward they will treat people, especially women, based on the “Islamic emirate” rules.