Afghan gunmen murdering those who dare to flee : LUSENET : Grassroots Information Coordination Center (GICC) : One Thread


Refugees who have made it to Pakistan report of having seen the Taliban gunning down masses of people who were fleeing the country AFP


The Taliban are slaughtering Hazara Afghans who try to flee the country, gunning them down in cold blood, claim refugees who have made it to Pakistan.

Thousands of "invisible" refugees from the minority Shiite community exist in poverty on the outskirts of the southwestern Pakistani city of Quetta, near the Afghan border.

They say they have fled the US bombing of Afghanistan, a severe drought and more than anything, persecution by the ruling Islamic militia.

Of a dozen Afghans interviewed, all had tales of random killings, human rights abuses and persecution.

Some told of mass murders.

Ovr Mohd, 65, fled to the hills from Bamiyan to avoid the rampaging Taliban. When he returned he said he found his three sons shot dead.

He said they were targeted because they were ethnic Hazaras, whose sympathies lie with the opposition Northern Alliance.

"When we decided to leave Afghanistan we saw the Taliban attacking people who were fleeing. People were gathering on the road to leave and they were shot. We have seen this," he said.

"I saw 50 people in front of me who were killed. They were women, children and men," he added, claiming the killings happened a month ago. "I hate the Taliban for doing this."

Senior officials at the Taliban embassy in Islamabad were unavailable to comment on the claims.

Peter Kessler, the UN High Commissioner for Refugees spokesman in Quetta, said: "Clearly the Hazaras and other minority groups have been victims of massacres over the last years but there are also reports of Hazara exactions on Taliban prisoners they have taken. "It is difficult to verify any reports coming out of Afghanistan right now. But these ones certainly deserve to be examined very carefully."

Most of the 5,000 or so people who live in "Hazara town," a dusty maze of dirt roads and mud brick houses in west Quetta, are Persian-speaking Shiite Muslims descended from Mongol troops.

They are among the 100,000 Afghans believed to have crossed the border illegally since the US began pounding Afghanistan.

They have no identity papers and officially do not exist in Pakistan. They refuse to move into refugee camps for fear of deportation. Consequently they receive no help from aid groups.

Saeed Zaman, 35, said he witnessed similar killings in Kabul, the Afghan capital.

"There is a roundabout where the people go when they want to leave. The Taliban are attacking them there. I saw dozens killed [on Friday]. The people were pleading to leave but the Taliban shot them," he said.

"They left the bodies where they fell. The animals were eating them."

Zaman paid a smuggler 1,300 rupees (US$21) to escape the terror, arriving in Quetta on Monday. Six of his family members have been killed by the Taliban, he said, including his wife.

Sad Shah Musa, 50, echoed these experiences.

"People are running and the Taliban are shooting them," he said. "We have lost our lives in Afghanistan. We have lost everything.

"`Why are you fleeing, this is your country,' they say. They say, `You are against the Taliban, you are running away' and then they shoot."

The Taliban have also been accused of forcibly conscripting young Afghans to fight their holy war jihad.

They came for the three sons of Baqhtawar, a 60-year-old woman from near Herat, in western Afghanistan, 12 days ago.

When she protested she was punched in the face, losing four front teeth. She was left sprawling on the floor with a bloodied mouth and has heard nothing from her sons since. She fled soon after under the cover of darkness and arrived in Quetta 10 days ago.

"The Taliban took our husbands and our sons. They burned our homes and our mosque," she said.

-- Jackson Brown (, November 08, 2001


This is on the heals of repeated UN reports of the mass murders of 10s of 1000s of Afghani civilians -- by the Taliban -- since 1996.


-- Jackson Brown (, November 08, 2001.

Terrible, but will sound end as the Taliban Crumble to the onslaught.

-- jimmie-the-weed (, November 08, 2001.

Terrible, but will soon end as the Taliban Crumble to the onslaught.

-- jimmie-the-weed (, November 08, 2001.

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