Relatives of those killed in an operation by a special unit of Afghan forces said the government probe team has not shared its findings on the death of 11 residents of Zurmat district.
The probe team was assigned on August 15 during a visit of top security officials to investigate the incident which happened early in August.
“The head of the National Security Directorate apologized in a meeting with us and vowed to find the perpetrators and punish them,” said Ezhar Hamim, a relative of a victim.
“A tragedy happened which angered all the Zurmat residents and the people of Afghanistan. No doubt, the incident is not the first. It happens not only in Zurmat but in other areas as well,” said Kabul Khan Tadbir, member of Zurmat residents’ council in Kabul.
The President’s Media Office and the National Security Council’s Office did not comment to a request on the incident.
But Paktia governor’s spokesman Abdullah Hasrat said the probe is yet to be completed.
“The probe team will share its findings once it completes its investigation,” he said.
“They are tortured in front of their family members. This is against all human rights principles,” military affairs analyst Atiqullah Amarkhail said.
On August 13, a number of Paktia tribal elders and residents claimed that at least 11 people were taken out of their homes and were killed the “01 Unit” of the National Directorate of Security at a night raid in Zurmat district on August 11.
The operation was carried out in Gulal Koh village.
The National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said that at least 11 militants including two commanders of the Taliban were killed in a special operation in Zurmat district. This statement is rejected by local residents.
The officials held talks with Paktia governor Shamim Khan Katawazai, Paktika governor Mujib-Ur-Rahman Samkanai, the Commander of 203 Corps Brig. Gen. Khanullah Shuja, the provincial NDS chief Major Gen. Qadr Mohammad Qadr, the statement said.
The statement added that the officials discussed the security situation and claims of civilian casualties in a government forces operation in Zurmat district and assigned a probe team to assess the incident.
The officials called on Paktia and Paktika governors to have a “direct role” in the assessment of the Zurmat incident, the statement said.
The Defense Ministry in a statement confirmed the visit but said the officials assessed the security situation in the south-eastern provinces in this trip.
According to Paktia residents and tribal elders, Hayatullah, an employee of Ministry of Education in Kabul; Mohammad Shafi, a teacher; Ansarullah, a student at Paktia University; and Akhtar Mohammad, a student at Kabul University who went to visit their families in Zurmat district, as well as Mohammad Asif, principal of Dawlat Khan School in Zurmat; Inam, a madrassa student; Rahmatullah; Hekmatullah; and Nusratullah (who are brothers), Fida Mohammad, Nasrullah and Fathullah, farmers in the district, are the 11 people who the residents said were killed in the raid.