Crimes of the "Northern Alliance" Seen Through the Eyes of a Grieving Mother

RAWA, December 28, 2001

During the four long years that Jehadi criminals ruled Kabul, tens of thousands of civilians, including this woman's young son were martyred. According to international sources, fifty thousand civilians lost their lives during these years in Kabul alone and tens of thousands were injured and maimed. Our sources know the actual numbers are much higher.

Different groups were fighting with each other in different parts of the city. Kabul was bathed in blood and burned to ashes during the Jehadi criminals rule. Crimes committed by the fundamentalists were not limited to mass murders. They raped young girls and women; tortured ethnic minorities; and pillaged national assets and public property. They crammed and roasted prisoners in steel containers and drove nails into their foreheads. Never in the history of Afghanistan have such atrocities committed against defenseless civilians been witnessed.

Unfortunately, the world tends to forget mass murders in a painful silence and convenient amnesia.

The armed groups of Dustom, Gulboddin, Ahmed Shah Masoud, Rabbani, Sayyaf and Khalili of the Hizbe Wahdat [Unity Party] are the main criminals. Today the majority of these murderers have joined together under the banner of the "Northern Alliance". The West is treating them as allies. The people of Kabul will never forget the years of atrocities. Some forces may conveniently turn a blind eye to their evil actions, but history is not blind.

The leaders of the "Northern Alliance" must be brought to justice in the same way as Milosovich and the like were tried for atrocious crimes of war.

RAWA asked an Afghan mother to tell us her story, in front of a video camera. She told us how she lost her beloved son few months after the fundamentalists seized the power in Kabul in April 28, 1992.

The following is the transcript from videotape of what she related to us in her own dialect, without addition or omission. The interview has been filmed by RAWA in 1999.

"It was the 19th day of month of the Lion, the year 1371 (solar Islamic calendar: August 10, 1992). The battle was raging between the warlords, Gulboddin and Dustom in Kabul;

About 7 O'clock in the morning, people were going to the bakery at the intersection to get bread. About 8 or 10 of them were together. They were waiting in one place, in front of the bakery. They had not yet gotten any bread, when a rocket from Gulboddin, the traitor, smashed right in the intersection; nearby the bakery and exploded. A fragment hit my young son (Khwaja Farid) in the chest, ejected his heart out to the other side and killed him instantly. My son-in-law was injured too. Another young man, 23 or 24 years old, had come to his aunt's house to convince her to leave our neighborhood. He was martyred too and his body was scattered around in pieces. That day, 31 other people in the neighborhood were martyred instantly or were injured. The battle was very fierce.

The bereaved mother

Above and behind our houses were troops of Dustom. Facing them, on the other side were warriors of Gulboddin. The fight was so intense that for one night and two days the life-less body of my baby remained in the house.

God save you from what this rocket did to me and to my life.

It was launched by Gulboddin, the traitor. We were having breakfast in the interior when the rocket struck and martyred my sweet child at the doorstep of the bakery. We heard it explode

I ran out of the house but no one was in the street, not his father not his brothers and not his sisters. Everyone was running barefoot towards the intersection,

As I was running and running, barefoot and without my veil, towards the intersection, I saw my other son carrying my child. Covered in blood and only blood, from head to tow. His sisters, his brothers and his father were shaking. Every one, from the neighborhood who knew my child or had seen him, was crying. I ran towards my child, but he had already been martyred. His father shouted "your son died, your child was martyred, he donated his life to you". I ran towards my baby, but he was no longer breathing.

They brought him to the house and left him in the porch. One of the neighbors said: "for God's sake, come let us take him inside". They brought him and placed him in the interior.

My mother and my brothers were living in another neighborhood. In their neighborhood too, the crossfire was intense. So much so that no one could get out into the street and come to our house to bury my son.

About 6 O'clock in the afternoon our neighborhood was surrounded by Dustom's fighters. A young boy of the neighborhood came over and said: "Hide the girls! Dustom troops are checking the houses". My son and his wife were married for one and a half years. They climbed down into the basement and we covered the basement entrance. My husband and my other son were in the room with me. From early in the night to the dawn I was crying and lamenting over my son's life-less body which remained in that room for two days and one night.

Dustom's men were searching the neighborhood going from roof to roof and climbing down to the houses where they could get something to loot or some one to rape.

From the roof of our house one of them shouted, "cut it out! What is that crying for?" I shouted back, "My young boy's dead body is soaked in blood in front of me how could I not cry? He said; "God will give you patience. The battle is fierce. Many have died and there are lots of wounded. You too could bear it and be quiet". I told him "Nobody could be quiet in such a time". His father [my husband] said; "If you could stop this fight, we could bury our young son". He replied; "God is merciful." Later that night, they climbed down into some houses and plundered and raped girls.

The next morning, about 10 O'clock, some neighbors who were not related to me or to his father (my husband) and two of my nephews came over. They said: "Dear aunt, the only solution is to put together a coffin from what ever wood that can be found. We have a carpenter amongst us". They went back home and put together a coffin, but they couldn't get back to our house in the intense crossfire.

We did not wash his body. They put him in the coffin, and under intense gunfire we carried him to the burial ground. Many stray bullets struck near my other children, as they were digging a grave for my son. One neighbor got injured.

The next morning, which was the third day, my brother came over from Khair Khana bearing lots of problems, despite the intense crossfire. He said; "Let's go to our house before more of you get killed here."

The next morning, my two children and my husband set out, with my brother, to go to his house. We left the keys of the entrance with a neighbor and told them that we're going away. All rooms were left open, we took only one large suitcase with us.

Before the intersection, Dustom soldiers stopped us. They said; "Don't go through the intersection, some rockets might come this way. It is safer to go through the back alley." As we entered the back alley, they started robbing us. First they pulled my sons watch from his wrist and then my husband's and my brother's money pouches. With unspeakable difficulties and great risks, going from one back alley to another, we made it to my brother's house.

Later we learned that Dustom troops broke the main door to our house and pillaged everything we had, broke many mirrors in the rooms, broke open all suitcases. Gulboddin looted in his style, Ahmad Shah Masound in other style.

After that, we never could go back to our house. We have been staying in other people's houses. To this day, we have been wandering from one place to another. My family has suffered a lot, but the pain of losing my little son is the most tormenting. We have him in front of our eyes, every second every minute, all the time. What can I say?"

Overcome by sorrow and immersed in her grief, she became silent.

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