Afghanistan: Taliban killed over 100 civilians after the fall of Spin Boldak, US forces carry out strikes in Kandahar

Talibani terrorists in Afghanistan, representational image, source: CFR Org

The raging Afghanistan conflict has taken a turn for the worse as Taliban terrorists reportedly have killed more than 100 civilians, seemingly without any reason. The Afghan Ministry of Interior(MoI) confirmed the massacre that took place in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar province.

The Ministry also suspected Pakistani hand in the carnage that unfolded in Kandhar that resulted in the casualty of more than 100 civilians. 

“The brutal terrorists on the order of their Punjabi bosses (Pakistan) ambushed the homes of the innocent Afghans in certain areas of Spin Boldak, looted the homes and martyred 100 innocent people,” said Mirwais Stanekzai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.

In addition to the tragic loss of more than 100 civilians, a member of Kandhar’s provincial council said that he lost his two sons after unidentified gunmen abducted them from their home a day before Eid and killed them. 

The Taliban, however, has denied their involvement in the barbaric killing of civilians. 

But the Afghan security agencies claim the carnage was Taliban’s handiwork. Personnel of Afghan forces say dead bodies are still strewn on the grounds in Spin Boldak. 

“They (Taliban) even resorted to the looting of the homes of civilians and govertment offices including the destruction of public infrastructure,” said Rohullah Ahmadzai, a spokesman for the Ministry of Defense. “They also assassinated the civilians,” he further added.

By some accounts, those killed include athletes, CS activists, business persons, vloggers & persons suspected of sympathising with the Afghan government. It is also worth noting that Pakistani agencies have long viewed the town where the massacre took place as fiercely against the Durand line and sympathising with Baluch & Achekzais next door.

The current chaos that has swept Afghanistan can be linked to the US government’s decision of pulling out all American troops stationed in the country by 11 September 2021. The withdrawal announcement has touched off a free-for-all crisis, where different terror groups, including the Taliban, are vying to wrench the control of the country from the official Afghan government. 

As a result, violence has erupted in many parts of the country as the Taliban seeks to establish its dominance and pushback the government forces. As a part of its offensive, the Talibani fighters are systematically attacking province after province, increasing their territorial hegemony. The Spin Boldak is one of the areas that is currently controlled by Taliban. It is also the same region where Indian journalist Danish Siddiqui was killed while covering the conflict. 

US military carries strikes against Talibani terrorists in Kandahar

Meanwhile, the United States carried out overnight strikes in support of Afghan forces in the Kandahar province and to repel the advancing Talibani terrorists. The US military retains the authority to carry out strikes it deems suitable even as the forces are in their final steps of withdrawal. 

“In the last several days, we have acted through airstrikes to support the ANDSF,” said Pentagon spokesman John Kirby, referring to Afghan government forces.

However, the frequency of strikes has evidently reduced. The US military has carried out six to seven strikes in the last thirty days, mostly using drones to strike the targets. 

The US has long provided air assistance to the Afghan forces on the ground to take on the Talibani terrorists. But many analysts believe, the hasty pullout of the US forces might benefit the Taliban as the Afghan’s fledgling air power has proven to be woefully incompetent in stopping the terrorists.

OpIndia Staff: Staff reporter at OpIndia