US, West blast Taliban over ‘summary killings’ of former Afghan security forces

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WASHINGTON: The United States (US) led a group of Western nations and allies in condemnation of the Taliban over the summary killings of former members of the Afghan security forces, reported by rights groups demanding quick investigations.

“We are deeply concerned by reports of summary killings and enforced disappearances of former members of the Afghan security forces as documented by Human Rights Watch and others,” read a statement by the US, the European Union, Australia, Britain, Japan and others, which was released by the State Department.

“We underline that the alleged actions constitute serious human rights abuses and contradict the Taliban’s announced amnesty,” the group of nations said as it called on Afghanistan’s new rulers to ensure the amnesty was enforced and upheld across the country and throughout their ranks. Early this week, Human Rights Watch released a report that it says documents the summary execution or enforced disappearance of 47 former members of the Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF), other military personnel, police and intelligence agents, who had surrendered to or were apprehended by Taliban forces from mid August through October.

“Reported cases must be investigated promptly and in a transparent manner, those responsible must be held accountable and these steps must be clearly publicised as an immediate deterrent to further killings and disappearances,” the countries, which include Canada, New Zealand, Romania, Ukraine and several European nations, said in their statement.

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However, the Taliban government Sunday rejected condemnation by Western nations over dozens of alleged “summary killings” of former security force personnel. Taliban’s Interior Ministry, however, rejected both the Western rebuke and rights groups’ allegations. “These reports and claims are not based on evidence,” spokesman Qari Sayed Khosti said in a video statement released by the Taliban. “We reject such claims.”

“We have some cases where some former ANDSF members were killed but they have been killed because of personal rivalries and enmities,” he said, referring to the now-defunct Afghan National Defence and Security Forces.

Many ex-regime security personnel “who had martyred hundreds of mujahideen and civilians are living peacefully” in the country on the basis of the general amnesty the Taliban granted, he added.

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