Tal­iban, IS jointly mas­sacre 50 civil­ians

Muscat Daily - - FRONT PAGE -

Kabul, Afghanistan - The Tal­iban and Is­lamic State group jointly mas­sa­cred dozens of civil­ians in an Afghan vil­lage, of­fi­cials said on Mon­day, high­light­ing rare co­op­er­a­tion be­tween the in­sur­gents that could in­crease the strain on Afghanistan’s be­lea­guered se­cu­rity forces.

The fight­ers killed more than 50 men, women and chil­dren in the re­mote Sayad dis­trict of north­ern Sar-e Pul prov­ince on Sat­ur­day af­ter over­run­ning the Afghan Lo­cal Po­lice (ALP) - a gov­ern­ment-backed mili­tia - in a 48-hour bat­tle, ac­cord­ing to lo­cal of­fi­cials.

“It was a joint op­er­a­tion by Daesh and Tal­iban fight­ers. They had re­cruited forces from other prov­inces of the coun­try and at­tacked Mirza­walang vil­lage,” said Zabi­hul­lah Amani, a spokesman for the pro­vin­cial gov­er­nor.

The spokesman al­leged that dozens of Tal­iban and IS group fight­ers un­der the com­mand of Sher Mo­ham­mad Ghaz­an­far, a lo­cal Tal­iban com­man­der who Amani claims pledged al­le­giance to IS, launched a co-or­di­nated at­tack on the area on Thurs­day.

“The fight­ers over­ran the area and it led to the mas­sacre of in­no­cent and de­fence­less civil­ians,” he said.

Most were shot but some were be­headed, Amani added.

Ver­i­fy­ing in­for­ma­tion from poor, moun­tain­ous ar­eas of Afghanistan made in­ac­ces­si­ble by fight­ing and with patchy com­mu­ni­ca­tions is dif­fi­cult.

Mo­ham­mad Noor Rah­mani, head of Sar-e Pul’s pro­vin­cial coun­cil, said 44 of the 50 vic­tims were be­lieved to be civil­ians, with the ALP mili­tia also suf­fer­ing some ca­su­al­ties.

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