Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Friday released the initial findings of an investigation into the Mirza Olang incident in Sayyad district in Sar-e-Pul province where dozens were killed and scores were wounded following a coordinated attack by insurgents earlier this week.
The AIHRC findings indicate that Mirza Olang Valley was attacked on August 04. “After two days of fighting between government forces – security and public uprising forces – and the invaders, the anti-government armed groups dominated the village. At 5am on Saturday morning on August 5, the attackers blocked the escape route of the people at the entrance of the valley and engaged in killing and arresting of people,” the report says.
According to the report, the attackers beheaded three people. A number of the residents were killed while fleeing the village, others were killed during the fighting and some others were taken hostage.
Evidence shows that the number of causality is between 50 to 60 people, including five women and three children, the report says.
The report adds that the commission has received full details of the death of 43 civilians.
The findings indicate that eight people were wounded and 471 families were displaced in Mirza Olang incident.
After the first day of the incident, 150 families remained in the village, from which 235 people arrived in the center of Sar-e-Pul province on Tuesday, August 8.
The attackers also killed and destroyed 150 cattle and looted a large number of property belonged to the local people, the report shows.
The report terms the statements of survivors and eyewitnesses as extremely shocking.
“On Saturday morning after the morning prayer, the firing started and the Taliban entered our village, they killed everyone in their path. The Daesh men were wearing masks,” an eyewitness, a 39-year-old woman, said as quoted in the report.
The report has found that the attack was committed by the Taliban in coordination with Daesh.
According to eyewitnesses, the attack was led by Mullah Nader, local commander of Taliban and Ghazanfar, local commander of Daesh.
Taliban has already claimed responsibility for the attack, the report says.
"The attack on civilian population, public facilities and public places is unforgivable, inhuman crime which is against all norms and principles of Humanitarian Law. We condemn it in the strongest term possible,” the AIHRC chairperson Sima Samar said in a statement released on Friday.
The AIHRC says it welcomes the decision of the Attorney General of Afghanistan to investigate the incident as a war crime and a crime against humanity.
The watchdog called on the Afghan government, justice and judicial authorities to investigate the incident precisely and identify and prosecute the perpetrators and all those who had a role in the incident.