A number of residents from Chah Ab district of Takhar province said that although there is no Taliban in the district they are tired of being terrorized by illegal armed men in the area.
In the most recent incident illegal armed men on Friday opened fire on worshipers at a mosque and killed six and wounded 36 others in the Chah Ab district.
The residents blamed Bashir Qanet, a former Hezb-i-Islami commander for the shooting.
“When we wanted to enter the mosque commander Bashir’s armed men seized the mosque and opened fire on us,” said Ahmad Gul one resident.
“Bashir Qanet’s people were armed; they had heavy and light weapons and they opened fire on the people,” said Mullah Khaliq another resident.
Chah Ab district mosque’s Imam Mawlavi Mahfozullah said that he wanted to deliver a speech about injustice and the illegal activities of Qanet's men when the gunmen opened fire on the people.
“A few days ago Bashir Qanet warned me to not give prayers to the residents and I informed the police and I started my speech when I heard the firing and they attacked us,” said Mahfozullah.
"My sin is only that I have raised my voice against illegal armed men's activities,” Mahfozullah added.
Previously, however, the imam had declared jihad against Qanet. His supporters said Mahfozullah had no right to do this.
“This mosque imam must know that if Bashir is an unbeliever, then he should be punished and if not, why then did the imam called a Mujahid an unbeliever,” said Mahbubullah, one of Qanet's supporters.
Although Qanet denies the allegations the residents of this district have said that his men carried out the attack and suppressed the people of the district.
“I did not attack (them) and I don’t know about it; if anyone in this district does something they blame me for it. I don’t know about the attack and this is a big allegation against me,” said Qanet.
Residents said however that after Ramazan, close to 90 residents in the district were killed by Qanet's men.
On Thursday, a mosque imam was killed when he spoke out about illegal armed men in the district.
This comes after three people were killed and six wounded in July after supporters of a Hizb-e-Islami commander and supporters of a senator clashed in Chah Ab district.
Some residents of the northeastern province established a sit-in camp in front of the governor’s office in protest against a sharp increase in activity by illegal armed men in the district.
Meanwhile, Takhar security officials said government forces will arrest the perpetrators and send them to court.