At least 16 members of Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) who served under the previous government were killed and about 25 more were wounded in incidents involving gunmen attacks and arrests by armed men in Kandahar province in recent months, sources confirmed.
Victims’ relatives and friends linked the killings to the Taliban.
Sources said that 44 incidents happened against former ANDSF members and the majority of them occurred in the last four months.
Figures by sources show that an average of 11 incidents have happened every month against former ANDSF forces in Kandahar, mostly in Spin Boldak district in March, April, May and June.
Of these cases, 12 include the kidnapping of former ANDSF members by armed men in ordinary outfits as civilians. They were released after torture, sources said.
The released individuals and their families have been warned to keep the issue secret or they will be killed, sources said. Some of the 12 ANDSF members released after an arrest have faced psychological problems and disabilities.
One of them is Abdul Malik, who was arrested on May 7 by a number of gunmen in his hometown Spin Boldak district of Kandahar.
His brother, Abdul Zahir, said Malik was serving in the 3rd battalion of border forces under the previous government in Maroof district of Kandahar.
Zahir has moved to Baluchistan, Pakistan, due to threats to his life. He says his brother, Malik, “has been disabled” and cannot walk due to the torture he suffered when he was arrested.
“They told him (Malik) that he will be forgiven only if he shows his weapon to them. But he did not have any weapon because they handed over all their weapons to the Taliban on the day Maroof district collapsed,” Zahir explained.
Malik was released on May 16 after mediation by tribal elders in their area but was warned to keep the issue with him.
Most of the cases have happened in Spin Boldak district in Kandahar which shares a border with Pakistan and collapsed to the Taliban 35 days ahead of the fall of Kabul.
At least 900 security force members were stationed in the district, who were mostly from the Achakzai tribe, or relatives of former police chief Gen. Abdul Raziq.
Many of them were killed after the fall of the district, two sources said. They were taken out of their homes and were shot dead or taken away, according to victims’ families.
Two young sons of Haji Fida Mohammad Afghan, a former member of the Kandahar provincial council, were killed the same way as many others in Spin Boldak district.
“It was an Eid evening last July. The Taliban had newly captured (Spin) Boldak district. 50 Talibs entered our house. 20 of them had covered their faces. They took my sons away… They were kept (in their custody) for 12 days. At least 80 other prisoners were there. They were also kept there for 12 days. Then (the two) were taken to a street in the district and were martyred,” Mr. Afghan explained in an interview with Amu.
He said that he made many attempts to speak with the Taliban and seek justice, but he failed.
They vowed to investigate the incident, but it didn’t happen, he said.
An elder from the Achakzai tribe said on condition of anonymity that Mr. Afghan went to Taliban interior minister Sirajuddin Haqqani and shared the killings and revenge incidents in Kandahar with him.
The meeting happened in July, but it didn’t help to stop those incidents from happening or provide justice to the victims’ families, the tribal elder said.
Another incident happened on June 26 in the Chahar Bagh district in Arghandab district in which gunmen killed a former member of the 01 Unit forces in the province.
The incident happened when a group of gunmen, driving a tinted glass vehicle, took the former ANDSF member, tightened his hands and killed him on the spot, eyewitnesses said.
His family did not speak due to security reasons.
Another incident happened on January 22 in which Shameela Noorzai, a former member of the Afghan police, was killed in a gunmen attack in Sheen Qazi Baba area in District 3 of Kandahar city.
On February 20, 2022, Shamsuddin Khanzada, a police officer in Maroof district, was killed in Spin Boldak district in an attack by armed men.
On January 1, 2022, a former police officer, Kakozai, was killed in the Spin Boldak district.
In another incident in June 2022, a former ANDSF member was killed in a gunmen attack in Haji Arab area, District 15, Kandahar city. His body was taken to Mirwais Hospital in the city, a source said.
Families of all victims did not speak to Amu over security issues.
The Taliban’s police command in Kandahar did not comment on the incidents.
The police command announced in June that some former security force members have not handed over their weapons and that they will conduct a search operation.
Amu reporter could not find any case of such nature to be under investigation by Kandahar courts.
Taliban was accused of dozens of extrajudicial killings of former ANDSF members and civilians in a recent report by the United Nations, but the group rejected the findings as baseless.