News ID: 107940
Publish Date : 18 October 2022 - 21:43

ISLAMABAD (AP/AFP) – The Taliban captured, bound and shot to death 27 men in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley last month during an offensive against resistance fighters in the area, according to a report published Tuesday, refuting the group’s earlier claims that the men were killed in battle.
One video of the killings verified by the report shows five men, blindfolded with their hands tied behind their backs. Then, Taliban militants spray them with gunfire for 20 seconds and cry out in celebration.
The investigation by Afghan Witness, an open-source project run by the UK-based non-profit Center for Information Resilience, is a rare verification of allegations that the Taliban have used brutal methods against opposition forces and their supporters, its researchers said. Since taking power in August 2021, the Taliban have imposed a tighter and harsher rule, even as they press for international recognition of their government.
David Osborn, the team leader of Afghan Witness, said the report gives the ”most clear-cut example” of the Taliban carrying out an “orchestrated purge” of resistance fighters.
Afghan Witness said it analyzed dozens of visual sources from social media — mostly videos and photographs — to conclusively link one group of Taliban militants to the killings of 10 men in the Dara District of Panjshir, including the five seen being mowed down in the video.
It said it also confirmed 17 other extrajudicial killings from further images on social media, all showing dead men with their hands tied behind their backs. Videos and photos of Taliban militants with the bodies aided geolocation and chrono-location, also providing close-ups of the militants at the scene. These were cross-referenced with other videos suspected to feature the group.
In another development in the country, about 30 Afghan women protested in front of Kabul University on Tuesday after authorities expelled students from the dormitories allegedly for breaking rules.
The protesters claimed that all the evicted students were women in a move that comes as the Taliban have increasingly restricted girls’ access to education.
“Today’s protest was for girls who have been expelled,” organizer Zholia Parsi told AFP after Taliban forces dispersed the rally.
Organizers also called for the reopening of girls’ secondary schools, which have been shut since the Taliban returned to power last year.
In several cities, women have staged sporadic protests against harsh restrictions imposed by the Taliban.
The rallies are usually swiftly put down -- often harshly -- and journalists have increasingly been prevented from covering them.

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