‘Taliban take hostage, kill 4 civilians in Helmand’
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Taliban militants have recently started targeting civilians under different pretexts in southern Helmand province, residents and officials said on Tuesday.
Dozens of angry protestors brought the bodies of two young people killed by Taliban militants after taking them hostage on the Helmand-Kandahar highway and placed the corpses in front of the governor’s house here on Tuesday.
An elderly participant of the protest, Abdul Mohammad, told Pajhwok Afghan News that his son and his three friends had been killed by Taliban militants in Nahri Saraj district of Helmand.
“My son was 15 years old, he was innocent and would assist me in masonry, but Taliban killed him and his three other friends and dumped their bodies on the road,” he said.
He said they brought two bodies of the victims to the governor’s house in Lashkargah in protest and buried the two others in their own areas.
Mohammad said it was his third son he lost to insecurity incidents.
Javid, another protestor, said: “The second slain person is my brother, we came here so government officials hear our voice.”
He said his brother was in grade 12th and he was going to Greshk district with his friends when Taliban took him hostage and then killed him.
“Is this real jihad what the Taliban are doing, they go to any extreme to achieve their goals, they terrorise people and spread fear,” he said.
Najibullah, another resident of Helmand, said Taliban insurgents few days ago killed three butchers in Nawa district.
He insisted the government should prevent the Taliban from killing innocent people.
Governor Hayatullah Hayat expressed his shock over the incident and vowed revenge on the Taliban.
“Taliban are committing murders on directives from foreign countries, particularly Pakistan and try to spread terror so people abide by their orders,” he said.
The governor’s spokesman, Omar Zwak, said none of the four people killed by Taliban had any connection with the government.
He confirmed militants had unleashed atrocities on innocent people to create fears in different areas of Helmand.
There was no word from the Taliban about the civilian deaths. But the group’s spokesman, Zabihullah Mujahid, said the rebels had blocked the Kandahar-Helmand highway.
He said Afghan forces tried several times to reopen the road, but did not suceed.
Also on Tuesday, one civilian was killed and another was wounded when a rocket fired by Taliban landed in Lashkargah City.
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