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Taliban denies report on killing of former Afghan security forces officers

Kabul : The Taliban have denied a report stating that the outfit executed former police and intelligence officers in Afghanistan since taking over the country in August despite a proclaimed amnesty.

The Human Rights Watch (HRW) last week in a report documented the killing or disappearance of former members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) — military personnel, police, intelligence service members, and militia — who had surrendered to or were apprehended by Taliban forces between August 15 and October 31.

Afghan Foreign Ministry spokesperson Abdul Qahar Balkhi on Sunday claimed that “Mujahidin” are fully committed to implementing amnesty decree and employees of the previous administration are not being persecuted for their former opposition.” Any Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) member found breaching amnesty decree will be prosecuted and penalized, he added.

“Incidents will be thoroughly investigated but unsubstantiated rumours should not be taken at face value,” Balkhi said in a tweet.

Last week, HRW had said that they gathered credible information on more than 100 killings from Ghazni, Helmand, Kandahar, and Kunduz provinces alone.

“The Taliban leadership’s promised amnesty has not stopped local commanders from summarily executing or disappearing former Afghan security force members,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at HRW. “The burden is on the Taliban to prevent further killings, hold those responsible to account, and compensate the victims’ families.”

Reacting sharply to the reports of the killings, the United States and 20 other countries expressed “deep concern” over the summary killings and enforced disappearances after the takeover of Kabul by the Taliban.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of summary killings and enforced disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces as documented by Human Rights Watch and others,” the State Department statement said.

“We underline that the alleged actions constitute serious human rights abuses and contradict the Taliban’s announced amnesty. We call on the Taliban to effectively enforce the amnesty for former members of the Afghan security forces and former Government officials to ensure that it is upheld across the country and throughout their ranks,” they added.