Revenge killers target Taliban


NEARLY three months after the Pakistani army retook the Swat valley from the Taliban, corpses are appearing on the streets almost every day.

This time the killings are about revenge. The bodies are suspected militants or Taliban collaborators. Their killers are alleged to be the security forces, although this is denied officially.

The murders are a sign that peace has not yet returned, even though the American government has hailed the offensive as a successful blow against militancy, and refugees are returning.

The body of Afzal Khan, who was in his mid-thirties and lived in the village of Salampur, is one of dozens that have been found since last month. Khan used to serve food to the Taliban and was friendly with Shah Dau-ran, their commander. Dau-ran was killed in June. “Khan went missing from his house one night and after 15 days, we found his corpse with bullet wounds to his head,” said a neighbour.

Akhatar Khan, a clerk in Mingora, the main city of Swat, met a similar fate. He was told by friends that he was on the security forces’ wanted list. He went to the police to clarify his position and his body was found dumped near his home a few days later.

Some families have protested that innocent relatives have been targeted: the Ullah brothers were found blindfolded, with their hands tied behind their backs, after they had been killed with a shot to the head. “My sons had nothing to do [with the Taliban]. They were innocent,” said their mother, Bakht Begum.

The reprisals are a grim echo of the Taliban’s own reign of terror. However, many believe they are the only way to stamp out the Taliban forever.

“Tver.

“They must be punished for their atrocities, for beheading people, lashing girls and destroying schools,” said Ameer Muhammad, the owner of a shop selling records. The Taliban had warned him to close his business.

Zahoor, a security guard in Mingora, said he he had not been able to sleep since the Taliban killed an innocent man in the street near his home.

“Those responsible for such acts do not deserve any other treatment than the one being given to them,” he said.
Revenge killers target Taliban Revenge killers target Taliban Reviewed by Sopheap Chhin on 7:57:00 PM Rating: 5

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