ISIS Beheads 7 People Including 3 Women, 1 Child in Afghanistan – Thousands Protest


KABUL — Three women and a child were among seven people beheaded by suspected ISIS-linked militants in southern Afghanistan, officials told NBC News on Monday.

Their bodies were taken to a hospital on Sunday after fighters who were holding them fled during an assault by rival militants in Zabul province, Deputy Governor Massoud Bakhtawar told NBC News. It was not known exactly when the victims, all members of the Hazara minority, were killed.

“We are not sure who beheaded them, but they were abducted … by foreign militants loyal to Daesh,” Bakhtawar said, using an alternate name for ISIS.

The deaths came amid escalating fighting between rival Taliban factions in the province.

At least 80 people have died in Zabul over the weekend, both fighters and civilians, according to two Taliban commanders who spoke to NBC News on condition of anonymity.


(…) The seven civilians beheaded were Hazaras, an ethnic and religious minority that have been discriminated against for centuries in Afghanistan. Fellow Shiite Muslim have also been massacred by ISIS and other extremist groups in neighboring Pakistan, as well as in Iraq and Syria.

Thousands of mainly Hazaras carried the bodies of the victims through the streets of Kabul on Wednesday and called on the government to halt sectarian violence. Hazaras were oppressed and massacred by the Taliban government before it was toppled by U.S.-backed forces in 2001.

“We are all here — Hazara, Pashtun, Tajik, Uzbek — to demand justice,” protester Kamela, a 22-year-old university student, told NBC News referring to the country’s main ethnic groups. “We will not go back to those days,” she added, referring to the Taliban era, and the country’s civil war which saw ethnic militias turning on each other.

ISIS-linked Uzbek militants who provincial officials believe kidnapped and killed the Hazaras in the southern province of Zabul over the weekend are fighting alongside a fighters struggling to wrest control of the Taliban away from Mullah Akhtar Mohammad Mansour, who took over in July.

Around 400 Uzbeks are fighting with the faction led by Mullah Mohammad Rasool Akhund, according to a spokesman for the group, Abdul Manan Niazi. The Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan (IMU) pledged their loyalty to ISIS in a video released on July 31…


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