Taliban denounce ‘brutal’ IS execution video
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.
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.