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Taliban beheadings – update

August 28, 2012

By Tim Foxley

Just a brief update and further thoughts:

AFGHAN president Hamid Karzai has accused the Taleban of beheading 17 villagers, including two women, in a gruesome attack recalling the dark days of the hardline group’s rule before their 2001 fall from power.

He ordered a full investigation into the “mass killing” in volatile Helmand province, which a local official said was punishment to revellers attending a party with music and mixed-sex dancing.

“This attack shows that there are irresponsible members among the Taleban,” Mr Karzai said in a statement yesterday.

The Taleban denied being involved in the attack, which Mr Karzai’s office said took place in Kajaki district.

It seems President Karzai has ordered a “full investigation” but, before it completes this (and I really don’t have a good feeling about how “complete” an Afghan government investigation would be anyway), he has already decided who is to blame.  To reiterate, I am certainly not avoiding the possibility (and perhaps even probability) of Taliban involvement, but just that, as I suggested yesterday, there is already confusion emerging within the little we know thus far about what may have happened.

In addition, if Karzai does believe that the Taliban are to blame, then his language – “…there are irresponsible members among the Taliban” (one translation has him saying “desperate”) does not seem particularly harsh or critical.  Particularly when you compare it to the language he uses when ISAF accidentally kill civilians.  It is clearly easier – and more populist – to blame the foreign presence.

One Comment leave one →
  1. August 29, 2012 9:47 pm

    And then there’s the Taliban’s version (according to here ): It was the evil partiers that killed each other!

    “A secret music party was organized inside a remote house close to wells in the desert between Roshanabad and Shahkarez areas of Musa Kala district, Helmand province because no one can dare do such a vile thing openly. Around 20 corrupt individuals participated in this event and boys dressed in women clothing were forced to dance. According to information gathered, the said group turned their guns on each other and killed each other at around midnight after getting heavily drunk, becoming both the killers and the killed. The government spokesman of Helmand province promptly and brazenly blamed Mujahideen for this infamous incident which Karzai and others blindly accepted. We once again call on all media outlets to refrain from attributing such reports to the Mujahideen.”

    Who to believe, who to believe ….

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