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  4. Taliban threaten revenge killings of former govt officials; warn residents of mass arrests

Taliban threaten revenge killings of former govt officials; warn residents of mass arrests

A Taliban police official in Gereshk, Helmand, told residents that district-level authorities were calling for retaliation and targeting former government officials.

India TV News Desk Edited by: India TV News Desk New Delhi Published on: March 23, 2022 11:06 IST
Taliban
Image Source : AP

Taliban threaten revenge killings of former govt officials

Highlights

  • The Taliban in Helmand have heightened surveillance and said that they would take retaliatory action
  • Residents have reported an increase in patrols and night raids
  • This also includes warnings from Taliban officials that mass arrests will ensue if attacks continue

In response to the recent killings of Taliban commanders, the Taliban authorities in Afghanistan's Helmand province have threatened to kill activists and former government officials, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said on Tuesday. The Taliban in Helmand have heightened surveillance and said that they would take retaliatory action in response to further attacks on Taliban officials. 

International law prohibits reprisal attacks - otherwise unlawful attacks taken as an enforcement measure - against civilians.

Commenting on Taliban's actions, Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at HRW said, "Taliban leaders in Helmand should not be responding to attacks with threats of unlawful punishments."

"Taliban authorities need to prevent retaliatory attacks and ensure that crimes are dealt with through a proper legal process," added Gossman.

A Taliban police official in Gereshk, Helmand, told residents that district-level authorities were calling for retaliation and targeting former government officials. According to the rights group, residents have reported an increase in patrols and night raids, along with warnings from local Taliban officials that mass arrests will ensue if attacks continue.

Afghan activists told HRW that the Taliban in Helmand have increased their surveillance of individuals and groups they accuse of being "opposed to the Islamic Emirate."

The threats follow a spate of attacks in which Taliban members have been abducted or killed. 

The Taliban have previously carried out revenge killings of former government officials and have been responsible for forced disappearances or summarily executing former members of the security forces and others they accuse of being their enemies.

The statements heighten concerns that Taliban fighters in the province could use recent attacks as a pretext to commit abuses against perceived critics, including journalists and activists. 

(With inputs from ANI)

Also Read | UN establishes formal ties with Taliban-ruled Afghanistan

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