An official of northern Sar-e-Pul confirmed at least 235 residents of Mirza Olang village Sayyad district of the province, who were taken hostage after a coordinated attack by a group of “Taliban and Daesh”, have been released after mediation by local elders.
The survivors have arrived in capital of the province filled with pain, sorrow at the loss of their relatives. The residents were taken and held hostage by the insurgents for four days.
Adela, a woman who was taken hostage said that: “My husband was buried alive and he could not escape because he wanted to protect my children.”
TOLOnews reporter, Sharif Amiry who is currently in Sar-e-Pul has interviewed Adela and said that “she has four children. She was very shocked by the incident.”
The released hostages arrived in the capital of the province in small trucks, crying and hugging their relatives. Most of women and children were with them.
One of the men cried and said he “buried 15 bodies in one grave… The government should prepare coffins for us. They failed to protect us. What kind of a government is this?”
“They (insurgents) took my son from in front of my wife and killed him. Now his body is missing and this because of these incompetent (government officials). My son was going to be married next month,” Sayed Ismael, another resident of the valley said.
The residents criticized the government for not launching a military operation in the valley in the past five days. As a result, “a number of residents are still held captive.”
Another resident said that: “None of those who were killed were armed. They even killed an old man who was sick.”
A 12-year-old girl survived the attack, spoke of her ordeal. Her 3-year-old brother was wounded and is currently under treatment in the capital of the province. "I don't know where my father and mother are. My brother was wounded and now we are in here."
Provincial governor Zahir Wahdat, says security forces in the province have not been able to launch a counter-operation.
“The forces have arrived in Sar-e-Pul to launch a military operation to clear the area of insurgents. If the security forces do not clear the insurgents, I will not let them to go back or I will leave the province with them," Wahtdat said.
“We have registered 551 family members of victims of the Mirza Olang valley attack and will provide aid.” He said. “President (Ashraf) Ghani and National Security Advisor (Haneef Atmar) promised more help.”
TOLOnews reporter Amiry says that “Afghan special forces, commandos and air forces have arrived at Sar-e-Pul to clear the valley.”
This comes few days after hundreds Taliban and Daesh fighters reportedly launched an attack on the valley killing over 52 villagers and taking hundreds more hostage.
The incident in Mirza Olang sparked strong reactions among Afghans over the brutality of the attack against the innocent villagers.
Families who have fled to the provincial capital, say they are living lives of misery following clashes in the area.
They said they have not received any assistance from the government and non-government organizations and lack access to primary needs of life.
Official figures from local offices show that at least 300 families have been displaced in Mirza Olang in the past five days.
On Tuesday, Ghani condemned the incident and called it a crime against Afghan civilians.
He also promised to "will take revenge from the insurgents."
Sayyad is in western part of Sar-e-Pul which is also bordered by northern Jawzjand and Faryab provinces.