Taliban attack women, children at Kabul airport despite peace promise: Report
The Taliban, since taking over the power in Afghanistan, have promised peace and said they would respect the rights of women, but the reality on the ground is something else.
Photos and videos emerging from Kabul show that Taliban fighters are using sharp objects to beat back women and children who are desperately trying to enter Kabul airport in a bid to leave the country.
The insurgents also opened fire to drive the crowds back from the airport, the videos showed. Los Angeles Times reporter Marcus Yam posted some of the pictures on Twitter on Wednesday and claimed in accompanying text that at least half dozen were wounded, including a woman and her child.
Fox News obtained a video, which it claims shows Taliban fighters roaming around the streets of Kabul and other places and opening fire while looking for ex-government workers. The channel also reported about an incident in Takhar province where a woman was killed by Taliban fighters on Tuesday for being in public without a head covering.
CNN carried a report which had chilling details about thrashing of a woman in Faryab province in July. The fighters knocked on the door of Najia, in a remote village, and asked her to cook food for 15 fighters, the CNN report said. When she told the Taliban fighters that she is poor and won't be able to cook food, they started beating her with their AK-47 rifles, threw a grenade in the next room and fled as the flames spread. The report was based on the account given by Najia's daughter Manizha.
Last week, the United Nations claimed that more than 1,000 civilians had been killed by the Taliban and the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said that since August 1, some 4,042 wounded people had been treated at 15 health facilities.
Though the Taliban have denied targeting and killing civilians during their offensive against Afghan government troops, the United States government has refuted the claims.
The Taliban, fighting since their 2001 ouster to expel foreign forces, seized Kabul on Sunday after a lightning offensive as US-led Western withdrew under a deal that included a promise from the insurgents not to attack them as they leave.
In their first news briefing since capturing Kabul, the Taliban suggested they would impose their laws more softly than during their earlier time in power, between 1996-2001.
"We don't want any internal or external enemies," Zabihullah Mujahid, the Taliban's main spokesman, told reporters.
Women would be allowed to work and study and "will be very active in society but within the framework of Islam", he said.
But many women have expressed skepticism. "They have to walk the talk. Right now they are not doing that," Pashtana Durrani, 23, an Afghan girls' education activist, told news agency Reuters.
Local media reports have said that several women were ordered to leave their jobs during the Taliban's rapid advance across Afghanistan.
During their previous rule, also guided by sharia religious law, the Taliban had stopped women from working. Girls were not allowed to go to school and women had to wear all-enveloping burqas to go out and then only when accompanied by a male relative.