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Taliban admit they committed atrocities

April 28, 2015

Summary: The Taliban concede that some of their fighters committed what amounts to war crimes, blaming Afghan forces for doing similar as justification

An interesting admission has emerged on the official Taliban website, acknowledging that some of their fighters were responsible for the beheading of seven Afghan soldiers in Badakhshan province this month (10th of April).  The statement calls the actions of their fighters “irresponsible” but claimed that this had been under provocation – Afghan government forces had apparently mutilated Mujahideen soldiers by shooting them repeatedly in the face after they were already dead.

This was apparently part of a clash between Taliban and government forces in which somewhere between 18 – 33 Afghan soldiers were killed and some beheaded – a BBC report says 8.

Taliban flag“A few days earlier reports were published about the beheading of soldiers after fighting took place between Mujahideen and the Kabul administration in Badakhshan province. Following the incident, the Islamic Emirate launched its usual investigation as part of its Islamic and humanitarian responsibility. During this process the following information was obtained which we want to share with the world and our countrymen:

On 2nd of Wrai of the ongoing solar calendar (20/03/2015), a clash took place between Mujahideen and soldiers of the stooge regime in Badakhshan province’s Warduj district during which the enemy suffered heavy losses while a few Mujahideen were also martyred. The invader nurtured mercenaries brutally shot the martyrs in the face to the point they were unrecognizable in violation of all principles of Islam and humanity as well as all established rules of war. The incident infuriated both the Mujahideen and the local people.

About three weeks later on 23rd of Wrai of the ongoing solar calendar (10/04/2015), another clash took place between Mujahideen and soldiers of the stooge regime in Jurm district of the same province, once again causing the enemy heavy corporeal and material losses. But since the stooge regime troops had mutilated Mujahideen in the previous engagement in violation of all Islamic and human norms therefore a few Mujahideen in revenge beheaded 7 regime soldiers on their own.

While the Islamic Emirate considers both of the incidents contradictory to rules of engagement however it places the blame of both grisly incidents squarely on the invaders and their hirelings because they were the first ones to commit such an act. Everybody is aware that the invaders have previously set fire to bodies of martyrs and in violation of all principles of humanity, have even urinated on bodies of others, provoking reactions worldwide.

Even this time if the mercenaries of the invaders had not mutilated bodies of the martyrs by shooting them in the faces then the Mujahideen would not have retaliated in such an irresponsible manner.

The Islamic Emirate once again asks its Mujahideen to strictly follow Islamic rules of engagement and booklet of military code of conduct issued by the Islamic Emirate. Article no. 21 this military code of conduct booklet of the Islamic Emirate states: (21 – If the blood of a criminal becomes lawful Shariah wise, and the death penalty is handed, be it to a spy or other criminal, he must be shot with a rifle, and its filming is prohibited).

The Mujahideen must be vigilant that our Jihad is for attaining the pleasure of Allah Almighty and the establishment of an Islamic government. Therefore we must never act in a way which becomes a cause of displeasure of Allah Almighty, contradicting rules of the Islamic Emirate and disobedience of the Emir (leader).

No matter how many boundaries of Islam and humanity the invaders and their mercenaries cross against the Mujahideen, we however must act in the framework of Islam. The transgressions of the invaders and their lackeys must never provoke us into crossing our principles.

In the end, all the Mujahideen must remember that even the smallest breach of Islamic principles withholds divine help and great victories. And all the Mujahideen must remember that after this if anyone acts contradictory to the military code of conduct of the Islamic Emirate, they will definitely be punished in light of sublime Shariah law.”

The Taliban emphasised the need for restraint and control by their fighters according to Sharia.  It is most unusual for the Taliban to admit any battlefield wrong-doing – I cannot recall many situations off-hand where this has taken place.  They have certainly denied involvement in situations where numerous civilians were killed and have been very defensive.  The Taliban regularly emphasise the importance of Taliban fighters respecting the population and trying where possible to avoid civilian casualties.  Human rights and civilian casualty allegations by organisations such as the UN seem tp have had a cumulative impact as they attempt to retain relevance and credibility.  Nevertheless, it is still common practice for them to deny, denounce or deflect any criticism or suggestion that they have been guilty of causing the deaths of civilians.

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