Tal­iban de­nounce ‘bru­tal’ IS ex­e­cu­tion video

The China Post - - INTERNATIONAL -

The Tal­iban have con­demned a “hor­rific” video that ap­pears to show fight­ers from the Is­lamic State (IS) group blow­ing up bound and blind­folded Afghan pris­on­ers with ex­plo­sives.

The video spot­lights the grow­ing ri­valry be­tween the two groups as IS makes grad­ual in­roads into Afghanistan, chal­leng­ing the Tal­iban on their home turf.

The video, ap­par­ently shot in Afghanistan’s restive east against the back­drop of hilly grass­lands en­veloped with fog, de­scribes the pris­on­ers as “apos­tates” aligned with the Tal­iban or the Afghan gov­ern­ment.

But the Tal­iban de­scribed them as civil­ians.

“A hor­rific video ... (shows) kid­nap­pers who as­so­ciate them­selves with Daesh (IS) bru­tally mar­tyring sev­eral white-bearded tribal el­ders and vil­lagers with ex­plo­sives,” the Tal­iban said in a state­ment Tues­day.

“This of­fence and other such bru­tal ac­tions by a few ir­re­spon- sible ig­no­rant in­di­vid­u­als un­der the guise of Is­lam and Mus­lims are in­tol­er­a­ble.”

The Tal­iban are them­selves of­ten ac­cused of bru­tal­ity dur­ing their 14-year in­sur­gency against the U.S.-backed Afghan gov­ern­ment that has sent civil­ian ca­su­al­ties soar­ing.

The group has suf­fered a string of re­cent de­fec­tions to IS, with some in­sur­gents voic­ing dis­af­fec­tion with their long­time leader Mul­lah Omar, whose death was re­cently an­nounced by the Tal­iban.

AP

A man walks along the ledge of a build­ing af­ter hang­ing two gi­ant Cuban flags, next to the U.S. em­bassy, in Ha­vana, Cuba, Tues­day, Aug. 11. The em­bassy will hold a cer­e­mony on Fri­day, Aug. 14, to raise the U.S. flag, to mark its re­open­ing on Ha­vana’s his­toric wa­ter­front.

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