As Taliban captures major cities, reports of killings and torture pour in
The Taliban has occupied several homes in Herat city and using people as human shields against Afghan security forces, according to several reports.
The Taliban has continued to kill civilians and senior officials in Afghanistan as it swiftly and violently advances across the country capturing major cities with eyes on Kabul. The killings and torturing of civilians come even as the United Nations has warned that a Taliban offensive reaching the capital would have a "catastrophic impact on civilians".
Two children were killed and four were wounded in a mortar strike by the Taliban in Khost province and a Ghazni based judge Abdul Matin Atayee was killed in an ambush on Wednesday. Several reports said the Taliban has occupied several homes in Herat city and using people as human shields against Afghan security forces. The group also looted civilian houses in several parts of the city.
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Several videos and photos on social media show Taliban fighters beating and shooting people, including children, in provinces like Helmand and Herat. In one of the videos on Twitter, a Taliban fighter shooting a young man on a motorcycle. "The evil and ugly face Taliban shoots a guy riding his motorbike and minding his own business, but his only sin was that he stuck the Afghanistan flag in front of his motorbike. What a retarded and darkminded people they are. Pakistan supports them clearly," the user claimed.
In another tweet, the user claimed that the Taliban entered a home and started “lynching” its women after they refused to get married to the group's fighters. "This is what Taliban are doing in areas under their control. Where is Human Rights Watch commission? The UN? The EU and the world?" the user asked.
HT could not independently verify the claims or the videos.
The Taliban has captured more key regional cities, including the second-largest city of Kandahar and Lashkar Gah, the capital of neighbouring Helmand province with the government losing control of most of the country.
Also read | UNSC mulling over draft statement condemning Taliban offensive: Report
Hundreds of thousands of civilians have fled their homes amidst fierce fighting between the Taliban and the Afghan forces as international envoys to negotiations in Qatar called for an accelerated peace process as a "matter of great urgency" and for a halt to attacks on cities. "We will not close the door to the political track," a Taliban spokesperson told Al Jazeera.
Meanwhile, the UN Security Council (UNSC) said it was discussing a draft statement that would condemn the Taliban attacks, threaten sanctions, and affirm the non-recognition of an Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan.