UN SC expresses concern over mass killing in Afghanistan

NNI, Dec.19,1997

GENEVA: The United Nations Security Council has taken a serious note of the large scale killings of prisoners and citizens in Afghanistan. A spokesman of the Council in a statement in Geneva said that hundreds of Taliban prisoners were killed in Afghanistan, reports VOA.

A UN Investigator found that both the Taliban soldiers and their opposition forces unleashed a reign of terror. He said that he would submit a report to Human Rights Commission of the United Nations in March.

In a two week long special mission, the UN Investigation team in Northern Afghanistan visited a number of villages near Mazar-e-Sharif. According to reports, the Taliban, while advancing in September, killed people belonging to the Hazara tribe.

A UN spokesman John Mills says, he inquired from the local villagers about the details of the killings. "In one village that we went to 53 people have been killed. The Taliban forces had apparently knocked at the doors and asked about any weapons. Any one who came to door, whether he possessed the weapons or not, was shot dead. In the second village, from where all the villagers had fled , only about 30 elderly people stayed behind. They all were brutally massacred".

The UN investigator also visited the site of mass graves in the East of Mazar-e-Sharif. Mills quoted a local leader saying that more than 2000 people had been killed. Mills said that so far the United Nations had not been able to confirm those figures. However, the team understands that those who were killed were the Taliban. They were arrested during their advance in May this year and had apparently been killed by the anti-Taliban forces.

Mills said the method of killing those people was very brutal. The prisoners, if they were alive, were shot and thrown into the water wells when they resisted. They were shot at and hand grenades were thrown on them.

The special investigator has found empty shells and hand grenade pins from the scene. In a nearby area, the prisoners were asked to stand in a line and were blown to pieces by a spray of heavy machine gun fire.

Mills said the bodies of these people were dumped into nine wells. According to forensic experts in the team, there were around 100 dead bodies in each well. According to Mills, the hands of all the bodies were found to be tied behind their backs with handkerchiefs or wires.

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