Since the announcement of the withdrawal of US troops from Afghanistan, the conflict has intensified between the Taliban and the Afghan army. On Monday, the American and British embassies in Kabul accused the Taliban of having “massacred dozens of civilians” in reprisal in the district of Spin Buldak, in southern Afghanistan, which they seized on the 14th of July.
“These killings are likely to constitute war crimes; must be investigated and responsible Taliban fighters or leaders must be held accountable, ”the two embassies say in similar terms on their respective Twitter accounts, referring to a report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), a public body .
The two embassies believe that “the leaders of the Taliban must be held responsible for the crimes of their fighters. If you can’t control your fighters now, you have nothing to do with the government later. ” In its report, the AIHRC wrote that it “found that after taking the Spin Buldak district, the Taliban searched for and identified past and present government officials, and killed people who had no fighting role.”
The Commission says it has identified 40 people killed in the district by the Taliban, but “according to certain reports, which could not be immediately verified, their number could be higher.”
Insurgents also retaliated against residents who welcomed Afghan forces during an attempt to recapture the district that ultimately failed, including looting their homes. Civilians have also been killed for “personal reasons” and “past conflicts,” according to the AIHRC.
These killings in the Spin Buldak district by the Taliban are a clear violation of international humanitarian law and may constitute war crimes, says the Commission.