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Taliban slay 7 hostages, hold captive 33 more

Taliban slay 7 hostages, hold captive 33 more

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Jul 22, 2017 - 20:03

KANDAHAR (Pajhwok): Talibaninfo-icon insurgents have killed seven of the 70 civilians they kidnapped on Thursday in Shah Walikot district of southern Kandahar province.

The rebels set free 30 and were still holding 33 in captivity, officials said on Saturday.

The civilians were abducted two days back when the rebels carried out coordinated attacks on a military camp on the Kandahar-Uruzgan Highway in Mano and Chinar areas of Shah Walikot district.

Kandahar police spokesman Zia Durrani told Pajhwok Afghan News the 70 people, including youth and elderly individuals, were kidnapped on the accusation of cooperation with the Afghan government.

He said all those kidnapped were civilians and had no connection with the government.

Durrani confirmed seven of the hostages had been killed, 30 released and 33 others still held.

He said detective organs were making efforts to identify the place where the hostages were kept in order to rescue them.

Two days back, dozens of insurgents attacked a military camp in Shah Walikot, with the ensuing clash lasting several hours.

Security officials said at least 12 insurgents were killed and 15 others wounded during the clash. Officials also acknowledged the killing of two policemen and injuries to three others.

However, the Taliban claimed killing 26 soldiers and injuring 12 others in the clash. But there has been so far no word from insurgents with regard to the kidnapping of the 70 civilians or the killing of seven of them.

Due to the clash, the Uruzgan-Kandahar Highway has been closed. Durrani said the insurgents had emplaced landmines on the highway and security personnel were currently engaged in detecting and defusing the devices. He promised the highway would be soon reopened for traffic.

Meanwhile, the Afghanistaninfo-icon Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) condemned the kidnapping of the 70 civilians by insurgents.

A statement from the AIHRC said targeting and taking hostage civilians was an explicit violation of international humanitarian law, human right standards and norms, and Islamic Shariahinfo-icon.

Based on international humanitarian principles, planning and carrying out such attacks on civilians were considered war crimes and their perpetrators should be brought to justice, the statement said.  

The AIHRC seriously requested the insurgents to avoid killing and kidnapping civilians and release the hostages at the earliest possible and don’t commit more war crimes.

The AIHRC asked the Afghan government, especially security forces, to identify the perpetrators of the incident as soon as possible and prosecute them.

It said security forces should use all resources at their disposal and put efforts into rescuing the civilians.

sns/ma

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