Report: Taliban killed scores of Afghan soldiers in base invasion

By Ben Wedeman, CNN | CNN The Taliban executed scores of Afghan security forces after taking over a remote army base last November, Human Rights Watch reported Monday, citing multiple former government officials and…

Report: Taliban killed scores of Afghan soldiers in base invasion

By Ben Wedeman, CNN | CNN

The Taliban executed scores of Afghan security forces after taking over a remote army base last November, Human Rights Watch reported Monday, citing multiple former government officials and soldiers who survived the attack.

The report alleges that the Taliban “targeted civilians in the attack” and that they “reportedly executed several dozen soldiers who attempted to escape.”

The Taliban group led by Mullah Omar seized the base in southern Uruzgan province on November 27. In February, Afghan forces ended its hold on the base.

Nearly a year later, the former troops who survived the assault described their experiences to HRW, the report alleges.

One soldier told HRW that “they tried to stop them with their bayonets, but the Taliban seized the entire base. They killed a lot of soldiers who tried to escape” before taking the base by force, the group said.

Another soldier described how “many soldiers were taken to a building, where they were held at gunpoint. While some took off on foot to freedom, others sat in the building and were beaten with sticks on their backs. Some disappeared without a trace. When we were separated from each other, the Taliban put their guns to the backs of the soldiers and fired several rounds into the air.”

A third ex-soldier described how “the Taliban set up loudspeakers in the courtyard and publicly executed at least 20 soldiers, including those who had attempted to escape.”

According to HRW, “a leader of the Taliban received six of those killed on his cell phone. His name was Hamidullah. The Taliban radioed that Hamidullah would be executed on the orders of Mullah Omar.”

The report said that “in a statement, the Taliban said that more than 100 soldiers were killed or injured during the battle at Pul-e Charkhi district in Uruzgan province on 27 November 2015.”

The organization quotes one Afghan government official as saying “the Taliban killed scores of soldiers and others, some of whom had died in the initial onslaught, while in action after the ground operation.”

The allegations could not be independently verified.

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