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11 Civilians Killed In Special Unit’s Raid In Paktia: Residents

Tribal elders said at least 11 civilians were killed in an NDS forces special unit operation in Paktia

by Anisa Shaheed

At least 11 people were taken out of their homes and were killed the "01 Unit" of the National Directorate of Security at a night raid in Zurmat district of the northern province of Paktia, tribal elders and residents claimed.

The operation was carried out in Gulal Koh village on Sunday night, August 11.

But the National Directorate of Security (NDS) in a statement said that at least 11 militants including two commanders of the Taliban were killed in a special operation in Zurmat district. This statement is rejected by local residents.

Some residents of the province have come to Kabul for seeking justice.

“It is very clear that the government is guilty in this issue. There is no news of reconstruction in Zurmat, but murder is always,” said Ghulab Khan Baz, a tribe elder.

“Most of the incidents take palace with educated people, students, university students and teachers,” said Mohammad Osman Zurmati, a resident of Zurmat district.

Hayatullah, an employee of Ministry of Education in Kabul; Mohammad Shafi, a teacher; Ansarullah, a student at Paktia University; and Akhtar Mohammad, a student at Kabul University who went to visit their families in Zurmat district, as well as Mohammad Asif, principal of Dawlat Khan School in Zurmat; Inam, a madrassa student; Rahmatullah; Hekmatullah; and Nusratullah (who are brothers), Fida Mohammad, Nasrullah and Fathullah, farmers in the district, are the 11 people who the residents said were killed in the raid.

“They (forces) read their names from a tool and then asked for their (victims) IDs and after some delay and when they check their IDs and become sure then the shoot them and their eyes,” said Azhar Hamim, a resident of Zurmat district.

The residents of the district called for response from the NDS to this raid.

“We call on the National Directorate of Security (NDS) to provide us documents and accurate information about those people who were killed,” said Maryam Zurmati, a civil society activist.

The CIA-sponsored forces have been accused of killing civilians in the eastern and southern provinces in many occasions.

The New York Times in a report last December explained the origin of CIA-sponsored forces in Afghanistan.

The Times said that origin of CIA-sponsored strike forces in Afghanistan was in the early days of the American invasion in 2001, when the United States allied with militia forces to help topple the Taliban regime.

The report said that the unit in the eastern province of Khost still has the largest number of fighters, though the exact count is unclear: Officials put the number anywhere from 3,000 to over 10,000. It patrols border areas and also runs its own network of informants.

Meanwhile, Foreign Policy in an article August 8 said the United States Central Intelligence Agency plans to retain a strong presence on the ground in Afghanistan.

The article on Foreign Policy by Stefanie Glinski points out that the CIA is not planning to leave the Central Asian country any time soon.

She gives the example of the Khost Protection Force (KPF), a 6,500-strong unit of Afghan soldiers who are “trained, equipped and funded by the CIA”.

The KPF is the most active and visible of an extensive network of CIA-sponsored paramilitary groups in Afghanistan.

According to the report, the KPF operates almost exclusively along the Afghan-Pakistani border and has a strong presence in Taliban strongholds like Ghazni, Paktia, and Khost.

The roots of the KPF go back to the days immediately after the attacks of September 11, 2001, which prompted the US military invasion of Afghanistan. It, therefore, precedes the Afghan National Army, Afghanistan’s state-run military apparatus, and does not operate under its command. Instead, it is solely directed by the CIA, which uses it to secure the Afghan-Pakistani border and disrupt the activities of Taliban, al-Qaeda and Islamic State fighters in the Afghan borderlands.

Members of the KPF claim that they are “better trained than the Afghan National Army”.

They are also paid much better, over $1000.00 per month, which is an enormous sum for Afghanistan.

This comes as the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said in a report on Monday that the ongoing peace talks have not diminished the intensity of violence in Afghanistan and its impact on civilians as the civilian casualties remained high.

Category: HR Violations, Afghan Government Crimes - Views: 6833