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Multiple scholars, tribal elders, journalists assassinated in Kandahar

A report citing a rights group said 33 people, including religious scholars, tribal elders and journalists, were assassinated in Afghanistan’s Kandahar province over the last two weeks. During these targeted attacks, religious scholars, tribal elders, civil society activists, journalists, human rights defenders and female journalists were being sacrificed, according to Zabihullah Farhang, spokesperson for the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC).

Tolo news had reported citing sources familiar to citing sources familiar with the development that ‘over 100 civilians’ were killed by unidentified gunmen in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar. The Afghan government blamed the Taliban for killing civilians. Hundreds of people have been detained and some have been killed by the Taliban in Kandahar over their association with the Afghan government and security institutions, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said in a report. According to the rights group, some Taliban detainees have also been killed, including relatives of provincial government officials and members of the Afghan National Police (ANP) and Afghan National Army (ANA).

According to Human Rights Watch, after the Taliban forces took control of Spin Boldak, the Taliban conducted searches to identify residents who worked for the local government or security forces. Residents in Kandahar city have been evicted by Taliban forces who control the city. Local media have reported that the Taliban have taken more than 300 people into custody and detained them in unidentified locations,’ HRW said. However, the Taliban have denied any involvement in human rights violations in areas under their control.

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‘The Taliban leaders have denied responsibility for any abuses, but evidence of expulsions, arbitrary detentions and killings in areas under their control is driving people to fear them’, Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, was quoted as saying by Tolo News. After the US-led foreign forces began their final withdrawal from Afghanistan, the Taliban seized key border crossings, captured dozens of districts, and surrounded several provincial capitals since early May. According to the Pentagon, over half of Afghanistan’s district centers are now under Taliban control.



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