Survivors Blame Taliban, Daesh for Afghan Village Raid

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Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): Around 150 families remain trapped in a northern village where suspected Taliban and Daesh armed men allegedly killed up to 70 people over the weekend, survivors and a provincial government official told Anadolu Agency Tuesday.

Hundreds of families from northern Sar-i-Pul province moved to safer places after their village was ambushed on Saturday.

Mohammad Hussain, an elderly man who was among some 300 families who fled the village, and made it to the provincial capital, Sar-i-Pul city, Tuesday said the armed men had spared no one.

“The terrorists stabbed, beheaded and shot whoever came in their way in Mirza Olang, they sparred no body; the government does not exist there,” Hussain said.

Reza Ahmad, another internally-displaced person blamed Taliban and pro-Daesh militants for the massacre.

“They were Taliban and Daesh both. They attacked the village from all four directions and wreaked havoc,” Ahmad said.

According to people from the region, the area continues to be under control of the militants.

Provincial government spokesman Zabehullah Amani told Anadolu Agency that Taliban and pro-Daesh militants stormed the Mirza Olang village in Sayad district on Saturday, and killed up to 70 people. “The Taliban and pro-Daesh militants brutally beheaded common people, women and children. Up to 150 families are still under the siege of the Taliban,” he said.

Daesh did not claim responsibility for the attack while the Taliban said they only targeted pro-government militia members in the village.

News of the carnage emerged on Sunday when the provincial administration lashed out at the central government for not dispatching additional troops to counter the militants and reclaim the fallen village.

The Ministry of Interior later vowed to send troops to reclaim the area.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan promised a probe into reports of civilian killings in Sar-i-Pul.

Meanwhile, President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday vowed to avenge the massacre of innocent people.

“The crime committed by rebels in Mirzawlang area has set another pattern of changing tactics of conflict. Similar crimes were committed in Kabul, Herat and Ghor earlier,” Ghani told a gathering in Kabul.

Ghani said such incidents could only be stopped from recurring if corruption from the ranks of security institutions was eliminated.

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