Friday, June 22, 2007

"Taliban executed civilians"

THE HAGUE (AP) - Taliban fighters executed Afghan civilians, including women, who refused to join them during a recent fierce battle against NATO and Afghan government forces in the south, the Dutch military chief said Friday.

Citing ''solid reports'' from Afghan police, Gen. Dick Berlijn said Dutch and Afghan forces, supported by Dutch and U.S. air strikes, fended off an attempt by about 500 Taliban fighters to overrun the southern town of Chora last weekend.

During the attack, Taliban fighters tried to force local civilians to fight alongside them, ''and killed citizens who refused - they were hauled out of their houses by the Taliban and executed,'' Berlijn told reporters.

''One police checkpoint commander saw two brothers murdered before his eyes by the Taliban,'' Berlijn said. Another police report ''said that eight women were murdered - they had their throats slashed,'' he added.

Berlijn said reports suggested that between 30 and 70 enemy fighters were killed in the fighting that started June 15 and raged for several days.

He said he had no reliable figures for civilian casualties, but local officials have said more than 100 people were killed in the fighting, including 16 police. It was not immediately clear if the figure included Taliban casualties......

No comments: