The killings allegedly happened on June 16 in the town of Dawlat Abad by the Taliban in Faryab province, close to Afghanistan’s border with Turkmenistan.
Across Afghanistan, tens of thousands of civilians have been displaced amid a surge in fighting that followed US President Joe Biden’s announcement that all US troops will be withdrawn from the country by September 11.
Since then, the Talibans claim to have taken control of nearly 200 districts across Afghanistan — mostly in the north and north-west. In many areas, they have met little resistance.
Newly uploaded videos show the commandos’ bodies strewn across an outdoor market. After a fierce battle to hold the town, the commandos had run out of ammunition and were surrounded by the Taliban fighters, witnesses said.
In the video, the words ring out: “Surrender, commandos, surrender.” Several men emerge from a building; they are clearly unarmed. Gunfire then erupts. At least a dozen men are seen shot to death amid cries of “Allahu Akhbar” — God is Great.
In one video, about 45 seconds long, a bystander can be heard saying in Pashto, the local language: “Don’t shoot them, don’t shoot them, I beg you don’t shoot them.” The bystander then asks: “How are you Pashtun killing Afghans?” The Pashtuns are the main ethnic group in Afghanistan.
At the end of the video, another voice off-camera says: “Take everything off them.”
In another video, a man can be heard saying: “Open his body armor.” One fighter can be seen taking equipment off the body of one of the commandos.
The Red Cross has now confirmed the bodies of 22 commandos were retrieved.
The Taliban in response, has now posted a video showing “the Washington guards, a CIA specially trained special commando who had been pursuing the Taliban in Dawlat Abad, Faryab, commandos being captured alive by the Taliban, disarmed and handcuffed. The Taliban claimed it was holding the 24 commandos hostage but the Afghan Ministry of Defense has denied the Taliban’s claims saying its forces were killed.
An eyewitness says the commandos arrived in the town with several tanks but ran out of ammunition after two hours of fighting and received no support from the air.
“The commandos were surrounded by the Taliban. Then they brought them into the middle of the street and shot them all,” the witness said.
In a statement Monday, July 12, the Taliban said “thousands of soldiers” had “defected and embraced the open arms of the Islamic Emirate,” which it claims is the true leadership of the Afghan people.
“Nearly two hundred districts were cleansed from their malicious presence,” the statement added.
Watch the video below
— Smriti Sharma (@SmritiS24856750) July 13, 2021