'Govt has turned its back on Herat martyrs' kin
HERAT CITY (PAN): The incumbent government has turned a blind eye to the countless sacrifices rendered by residents of Herat against the then Soviet-backed regime in 1979, participants of a gathering said on Thursday.
Government troops attacked members of a historic uprising during the rule of Nur Mohammad Taraki, killing up to 24,000 residents on March, 14 and 15, 1979 and then buried the dead in a mass grave, they claimed.
"Innocent people who were staging a protest for their rights were put into a mass grave near the tomb of Khwaja Abdullah Ansari after killed by the troops," Herat mayor, Mohammad Saleem Taraki, told Pajhwok Afghan News.
"The independence we have now is the legacy of that uprising. The government respects the Mujahidin and everyone who took part in that," deputy Herat governor Aseeludding Jami said.
Sher Khan, 45, said he was a child when his father was killed in the uprising. "We mark his death anniversary every year to feel he is still with us," he said.
Khan, who lost both legs during the jihad against the Soviet occupation, said the government had ignored those who laid down their lives for the country.
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