Maidan Wardak villagers say Taliban arrest, torture, shoot residents for suspicion of supporting a former militia commander

Taliban forces have arrested and tortured some residents of Takto and Aholis villages in Behsud, Maidan Wardak province, local sources tell Zan Times. The Taliban claims they had cooperated with a former local militia commander by the name of Abdul Ghani Alipoor. 

“After the Taliban took over Takto and Aholis villages in Behsud on October 19, 2022, many of the local residents were arrested and tortured under the accusation of having cooperated with the commander of People’s Uprisal Front, Abdul Ghani Alipoor,” a resident who asks for anonymity tells Zan Times.  

At least one villager named Musa was murdered by the Taliban while his hands were tied behind his back, two sources confirm to Zan Times. One source in the area says the Taliban shot several villagers in their hands.  

According to this local source, the Taliban then looted the properties of three households, burned their houses, and then destroyed the ruins with an excavator. Video seen by Zan Times shows what appears to be Taliban forces setting three houses on fire. In addition, some residents in nearby Albidi were also arrested and tortured.  

A resident of Albidi who did not wish to be named tells Zan Times, “The Taliban arrests and tortures people using various excuses, such as having connections with Alipoor or owning illegal guns.” 

In March 2021, Abdul Ghani Alipoor, the commander of a people’s uprising forces in Behsud, was accused of shooting down a National Army helicopter. Ever since Alipoor has been hunted by forces of the previous government as well as the Taliban.  A source who talked to Zan Times says that the Taliban have arrested and tortured many residents of the province on allegations of having connections with Alipoor. “Many of those arrested are still in Taliban detention,” the resident said.  

As for the detained villages of Albidi, this source adds, “The detainees are forced to confess to crimes they had not committed and the Taliban demanded between 100,000 and two million afghanis  in exchange for their freedom.” As well, the Taliban threatened to kill the released convicts if they or family members complained. 

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