Kabul: Officials said on Wednesday that the Taliban killed 28 paramilitary police in the fighting in southern Afghanistan. This is the latest loss in the ongoing siege of government-controlled areas that may be drawn into the hands of insurgents.
A local official said that the Taliban were executed after surrendering, but the rebels denied this, and AFP could not immediately confirm this statement.
If proven, the mass shooting of dozens of prisoners will mark a new and severe low point in the recent violence in Afghanistan, which has been worsening in recent weeks.
The incident occurred in the Gizab area of Uruzgan in the southern province. The siege of the Taliban exceeded the outposts of the Afghan police and army, and fierce fighting broke out for several days.
Zelgai Ebadi, a spokesman for the Uruzgan governor, said Taliban fighters offered 28 local and national police a chance to go home if they surrendered Tuesday night. “But after taking their guns, the Taliban killed them all,” Ebadi said.
The head of the Provincial Assembly, Amir Mohammad Barekzai confirmed the death toll and said that fierce fighting is ongoing.
Barekzai would not say that these people were killed before or after the surrender.
A third local official caused losses to 28 to 30 police officers on condition of anonymity, adding that three police officers managed to escape.
The Ministry of the Interior declined to comment on the death.
The Taliban denied in a statement that they were killed by the police after they surrendered.
“Enemy claims that they were executed after surrender are baseless. Mujahidin (Taliban fighters) repeatedly asked them to lay down arms & end hostility, but they insisted on fighting,” Taliban spokesman Yusuf Ahmadi said on Twitter.
The 28 deaths occurred after at least 14 Afghan police and soldiers were killed in the same battle overnight from Sunday to Monday.
The Taliban and Afghan government negotiators are meeting in Doha, where they are trying to find a way to end the 19-year war.
The hope for peace talks began on September 12, but new violence that broke out across Afghanistan immediately damaged the peace talks.
Negotiations progressed slowly, and both parties tried to consider various parameters before deciding on the agenda.