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Freed by Daesh, hapless women seek shelter from govt

Freed by Daesh, hapless women seek shelter from govt

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Mar 11, 2017 - 22:01

JALALABAD (Pajhwok): Two womeninfo-icon and as many children, who were released from Daesh captivity in a prisoner  swap in eastern Nangarhar province, say the group might kidnap them again, seeking refuge in a safe place.

Daesh militants kidnapped six women, two children and 12 men about four months back from Kot district. All the kidnapped men were killed and the women and children were released in return for the release of female Daesh prisoners from a government jail.

The released women are mother-in-law and her daughter-in-law. The two women along with a man and two children were set free in Sayed Ahmadkhel area, which is under Daesh control.  They after walking for several days and nights reached Mamand valley.

The mother-in-law, Sabrai (not real name) said her husband had been killed long ago and her son had been supporting the family until Daesh killed him in captivity. Her son left a widow and two children behind.

The family now without a caretaker is currently dependent on help from others and looks to neighbors for food. 

Sabrai during an interview with Pajhwok Afghan News said her life had been ruined and she was in severe need of assistance.

She said after his son’s death, they had been without a breadwinner and the government had not helped them so far.

Tears rolled down her cheeks as she remembered her son and the harsh days they spent in Daesh captivity.

She said the militants would give her three breads with as many potatoes in 24 hours for eating. She would boil the potatoes and eat them three times. Sabrai with her small grandchildren had been held in a dark room, she said, calling the captivity the most miserable days.

“Daesh are humans like us but they just have grown long hairs. Those who were identifiable had their faces masked. They talked in different languages, including Afghan and Pakistani languages.”

Sabrai’s widow daughter-in-law, Ghwarga (an assumed name) said now as they had been released, they still felt scared, fearing that Daesh might again kidnap them.

About her story, Ghwarga said: “We were took away from our home, they killed my husband and kept us in a very hard condition. They would lock us in a dark room during day time and ask us to travel during night.”

She said they would travel less and just move to one home from another until they were taken to Mamandara area of Achin district.”

“Daesh would keep changing our position so Afghan forces do not bombard the house where we were kept,” she said.

She recalled it was painful when her children would become hunger and Daesh fighters would shut their mouths with hands.

She said they were still the target of Daesh militants who would imprison them again in dark rooms if the government did not provide them safe shelter. “We have no a caretaker and women cannot protect themselves,” she said.

These and four other women and two children were released by Daesh militants after their two women were released from a government prison.

Pajhwok tried to talk to Khatira, a little daughter of Ghwargi, but she could not talk.

Malak Hayat Khan, a tribal elder who spearheads an uprising group in Shinwari district, confirmed the prisoners’ swap with Daesh.

He said Daesh had taken 12 men, six women and two children hostage. They killed 10 men while there was no information about the two others. But the women and the children arrested by Daesh had been released, Khan said.

He said two women of Daesh militants had been imprisoned by the government and they were exchanged for the kidnapped women after the government found no evidence about their crimes.

Governor’s spokesman, Attuallah Khogyani, said the government was assisting affected families including returnees and war-affected people. He said the local government had the plan to distribute more aid to such families in near future.

sns/mds/ma

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