Young girl and boy found beheaded in Afghanistan
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KABUL, Afghanistan -- The decapitated bodies of a 7-year-old girl and a 12-year-old boy found Friday in the country's south and east continued a spate of grisly beheadings in Afghanistan this week.
The body of the boy was discovered in the rural Panjwai district of Kandahar province in the south, where the Taliban retain command of some areas despite regular clearing operations by U.S. and Afghan forces.
Local residents and officials said the Taliban had killed the boy because his brother and uncle were members of the local police. The Taliban denied killing him.
There was no immediate explanation for the killing of the girl, whose body was found in a garden in the Tagab district of eastern Kapisa province, said the governor of Kapisa, Mehrabudin Safi. Mr. Safi said she had been killed Thursday. "So far, it is not clear to the security forces who was behind this beheading," he said. "The Taliban have not claimed responsibility for it."
On Sunday, 15 men and two women were beheaded in a Taliban stronghold in Helmand province, in the south.
The boy who was killed had been sent by his father from their home in the Zhari district to Spirwan in the Panjwai district to borrow money from a landowner Wednesday. The journey would take at least a couple of hours through a dusty desert region of mud-bricked villages and vineyards in western Kandahar. But four Taliban fighters on motorcycles picked up the boy, local officials said.
"He was killed because I am supporting the government," said the boy's uncle, Mullah Zianullah, who was a former Taliban commander in Panjwai but last year joined the peace and reintegration process in Kandahar and is now leading the local police in Spirwan. "There is nothing else except killing."
Mullah Zianullah has a reputation for tough dealing with the Taliban, ordering his officers to shoot insurgents on the spot, local residents said. The Taliban, in turn, had warned him that no one in his family was safe.
As soon as the Taliban discovered his family's involvement with the Afghan Local Police, a militia trained by U.S. forces, they were swift with their punishment, officials said. "The boy was beheaded immediately, and his headless body dumped on the main road in Spirwan," said Javed Faisal, spokesman for Kandahar's governor.
The boy's uncle, who said in a phone interview that he could not go to Spirwan to claim his nephew's body for fear of further Taliban retribution. "We have been told by people living there that the body was buried there. But we cannot go to bring the body back, and the other people are afraid to help us," he said.
First Published September 1, 2012 12:00 am