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Fighters shot six people dead and tortured another three to death in the village of Mundarakht in Ghazni province, according to eyewitnesses.
“The cold-blooded brutality of these killings is a reminder of the Taliban’s past record, and a horrifying indicator of what Taliban rule may bring,” said Agnés Callamard, Amnesty’s secretary general.
Meanwhile, it has emerged that the Foreign Office did not call an Afghan minister last week regarding the evacuation of local interpreters. The department initially said that foreign secretary Dominic Raab had been “too busy” to make the call, but insisted it had been delegated to a junior minister.
“Given the rapidly changing situation it was not possible to arrange a call before the Afghan government collapsed,” it admitted.
Over in Kabul, the Taliban is reported to have increased its door-to-door searches for former government employees, despite publicly granting them an amnesty. The militant group has been targeting “collaborators”, the RHIPTO Norwegian Centre for Global Analyses said in a report.
Anger over near-empty plane leaving Kabul
A former British marine has posted a picture of a near-empty plane leaving Kabul, at a time when thousands of desperate Afghans are trying to flee the Taliban.
Paul Farthing, whose wife Kaisa was on the flight, described the low number of passengers as “scandalous”.
Tim Wyatt has this report:
Charity director pledges to stay on ground in Kabul to save staff despite wife’s safe evacuation
Afghans in danger ‘have no clear way out’, says UN
Afghans who could be in danger from the Taliban “have no clear way out” of the country, the UN refugee agency has said.
A UNHCR spokesperson called on Afghanistan’s neighbours to keep their borders open during the crisis.
“UNHCR remains concerned about the risk of human rights violations against civilians in the evolving context, including women and girls,” they added.
West should have focused on counter-terrorism in Afghanistan, says former MI5 boss
The West should have concentrated on counter-terrorism rather than nation building in Afghanistan, a former MI5 chief has said.
Lord Jonathan Evans, who ran the security service for 6 years until 2013, said the plan was “overambitious”.
He added that terrorism would likely increase as a result of the Taliban’s power grab.
Taliban ‘always part of solution’, claims UK defence minister
The Taliban was always going to assume power in Afghanistan despite two decades of Nato involvement, a British defence minister has said.
James Heappey said it was “inevitable the Taliban would be part of the solution”, comparing the current situation to the peace process in Northern Ireland.
My colleague Adam Forrest has more details:
Defence minister says Taliban ‘part of the peace’ – despite reports of door-to-door manhunt
Journalist’s relative killed by Taliban during manhunt
Taliban fighters hunting a journalist have shot dead one of his relations and injured another, a German broadcaster has reported.
The editor, who works for Deutsche Welle (DW), is now working in Germany.
“The killing of a close relative of one of our editors by the Taliban…is inconceivably tragic, and testifies to the acute danger in which all our employees and their families in Afghanistan find themselves,” the broadcaster’s director general Peter Limbourg said.
He has called on the German government to take action.
The Taliban were hunting for a Deutsche Welle journalist, when they shot and killed his relative
Taliban tells female news anchor to stop working
The Taliban has told a female news anchor not to work, despite saying that women would be allowed to keep their jobs under its rule.
Shabnam Dawran, a reporter at state channel RTA Pushto, tells her story here:
Indonesia evacuates 26 citizens from Afghanistan
Indonesia has evacuated 26 of its citizens from Afghanistan, its foreign minister has confirmed.
The plane also picked up five Filipinos and who Afghans, Retno Marsudi tweeted.
“The plane is now in Islamabad to continue on to Indonesia,” she added.
Taliban responsible for massacre of Hazara men, Amnesty reports
The Taliban perpetrated a “massacre” of nine ethnic Hazara men in the south-east of Afghanistan last month, Amnesty International has said.
Villagers from Mundarakht in Ghazni province fled into the mountains as the Taliban made ground in the region, before returning to their homes due to a shortage of food.
Taliban fighters who had been lying in wait then shot six men dead and tortured another three to death, eyewitnesses said.
“The cold-blooded brutality of these killings is a reminder of the Taliban’s past record, and a horrifying indicator of what Taliban rule may bring,” said Agnés Callamard, the human right’s group’s secretary general.
Logic of US withdrawal questioned
A former British minister has questioned the logic of the US’ withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan.
Former British minister Rory Stewart, who challenged for the Tory leadership in 2019, said the US was only being asked to keep 2,500 personnel in the country.
Mr Stewart, an expert on Afghanistan, added that there are 25,000 US soldiers in South Korea, and “nobody is pushing to remove them”.
Taliban is hunting down ex-government employees, report warns
The Taliban is conducting door-to-door searches to hunt down former Afghan government staff, a report has warned.
This action goes against the hardline group’s promise that there would be “no revenge” under its rule.
In a report, the RHIPTO Norwegian Centre for Global Analyses, a group which works for the UN, said those deemed to be “collaborators” are being targeted.
“There are a high number of individuals that are currently being targeted by the Taliban and the threat is crystal clear,” the organisation said.
Those who worked in ‘central positions in military’ are at greatest risk, UN report warns