Taliban 'executed 900 people' as Islamists overran Kandahar

Taliban 'executed 900 people' as Islamists overran Kandahar
Taliban 'executed 900 people' as Islamists overran Kandahar

The Taliban executed some 900 people in six weeks in just one province as its fighters overran government troops, a police chief has claimed

Targets included police officers, tribal elders, civil activists, and even a popular comedian who were dragged from their homes and killed in southern Kandahar province, the region's former head of police Tadin Khan said.

Islamist fighters have now recaptured much of the province and have laid siege to the regional capital - also named Kandahar - as they push to retake control of the country following US troop withdrawal.

Taliban fighters executed 900 people in Kandahar province in just six weeks as the Islamist group overran government troops, a former police captain has claimed (pictured, government troops in Kandahar city)

Taliban fighters executed 900 people in Kandahar province in just six weeks as the Islamist group overran government troops, a former police captain has claimed (pictured, government troops in Kandahar city)

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Those executed include police, tribal elders, religious scholars, government supporters and even a popular comedian, the chief claimed (pictured, government troops in Kandahar city)

Those executed include police, tribal elders, religious scholars, government supporters and even a popular comedian, the chief claimed (pictured, government troops in Kandahar city)

Many of the deaths occurred in the town of Spin Boldak, on the border with Pakistan, Khan told Afghan news outlet TOLO.

'The people have suffered enormously,' he said. 'The brutality that occurred in Boldak is unforgivable.'

Among them was comedian Nazar Mohammad, who previously served in the Afghan police, who had his throat slit before images of his body were posted online. 

Other targets of the Islamists have been Afghan soldiers in hiding - some of whom may have surrendered to the Taliban rather than fight on the promise they would be allowed to return safely home.

Religious scholars, government employees, and anyone thought to be a supporter of the government has also been targeted, Khan said.

Taliban leaders have been keen to present the modern group as moderate version of the one that the US went to war with in 2001, in an attempt to build alliances with neighbours and prevent the kind of intervention that saw it toppled from power.

But those on the ground say it is the same brutal regime as before that has imposed its strict interpretation of Sharia law on the provinces it has captured.

Aside from the executions, women say they have been banned from leaving the house without a permit and from attending school in Taliban-controlled areas.

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 The Taliban has denied claims of executions.

The Taliban has recaptured swathes of Afghan countryside and is now vying for control of the provincial capitals of Herat, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah

The Taliban has recaptured swathes of Afghan countryside and is now vying for control of the provincial capitals of Herat, Kandahar and Lashkar Gah

Images of the executions published online has sparked as refugee crisis, as people fearing they will be targeted by the terror group flee their homes (pictured)

Images of the executions published online has sparked as refugee crisis, as people fearing they will be targeted by the terror group flee their homes

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