Taliban execute an unarmed prisoner in 'conquered' Panjshir Valley

The moment Taliban fighters execute an unarmed prisoner in the ‘conquered’ Panjshir Valley where ‘at least 20’ civilians have been killed for helping resistance

  • Taliban accused of butchering civilians in the Panjshir Valley after capturing it 
  • Video appears to show the moment one man was shot dead beside a road 
  • At least 20 civilians have been executed in similar fashion, sources claimed 
  • Human rights group say executions have been reported across the country 

This is the moment an unarmed man was shot dead in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley – allegedly a civilian executed by Taliban fighters in a revenge killing. 

The footage shows men who appear to be Taliban fighters marching another man to the side of a road before multiple gunshots ring out and he slumps to the floor. 

It is thought that at least 20 people have been killed in a similar fashion in the valley since it was captured by the Taliban last week.

It is not clear why exactly this man was targeted, though jihadist fighters have been accused of carrying out revenge killings against their opponents elsewhere – and Panjshir has long been a bastion of anti-Taliban resistance.  

Footage shows what appears to be Taliban fighters executing an unarmed civilian in Afghanistan’s Panjshir Valley, after the Islamists claimed to have captured it last week

In the video, which was posted to social media earlier this week, a group of men wearing khameez shirts and lungee head-dresses can be seen leading their victim across a road.

Clutching rifles, the men drag him by the hand before ordering him to stand on the other side of the street.

The man can be seen wearing combat trousers and what could be a military-issue t-shirt, though onlookers insist that he is a civilian.

Multiple gunshots then ring out before the man slumps to the floor. The gunmen then climb into American-made Humvees and drive away.  

Also among those killed in Panjshir Valley for helping the resistance is shopkeeper Abdul Sami, according to sources who spoke to the BBC.

Locals said Sami, a father-of-two, refused to flee as the Taliban advanced because he believed they wouldn’t target him.

But within days of the valley being captured he was arrested, accused of selling phone SIM cards to resistance fighters, and then his body was found near his home.

Witnesses said there were signs he had been tortured before his death.

The Panjshir Valley was the sole region of Afghanistan not captured by the Taliban as they conquered the rest of the country in a lightning-fast offensive earlier this year. 

The valley had never been captured by Islamists before – having successfully held out against them in the 1990s and against the Soviets before that. 

But last week the Taliban announced they had captured it and claimed resistance leaders including famed commander Ahmad Massoud had fled to Turkey.

Pockets of anti-Taliban resistance still exist within Afghanistan, however, with protesters taking to the streets in Kandahar province on Tuesday to demonstrate against the group.

Around 3,000 people – mostly the families of former army commanders – marched through the streets of the Taliban’s ancestral home city in fury after they were evicted from their homes with just three days’ notice.

Sporadic protests against the Taliban have ended in occasionally deadly clashes, although there were no confirmed reports of violence on Tuesday. 

Human Rights Watch told the BBC that news of retaliatory killings in Panjshir mirror atrocities that have been reported in other areas captured by the Taliban.

On Monday, footage emerged that appeared to show Taliban fighters forcing four men into the boot of two cars in the capital Kabul.

According to Iran International correspondent Tajuden Soroush, the footage was filmed in the Salang Wat district of Kabul and the men are ethnic Panjshiris. 

It is unclear what ultimately became of the men. 

The footage emerged as Michelle Bachelet told the UN Human Rights Council that she has seen ‘credible reports’ of Taliban searching house-to-house to find and punish anyone who helped the deposed Afghan government.

‘Officials who worked for previous administrations and their family members [are] being arbitrarily detained,’ she said. ‘In some cases, the officials were released, and in others, they were found dead.’ 

UN staffers have also reported increasing attacks and threats, she added, without providing specifics. 

Ms Bachelet also highlighted ‘deeply troubling information’ about Taliban raids on offices of some advocacy groups.


The Taliban has raised its flag outside its new ‘headquarters’ in Panjshir province – the last holdout of anti-Taliban forces in Afghanistan

Taliban members patrol after they took over Panjshir Valley, the only province the group had not seized during its sweep last month in Afghanistan on September 6, 2021

Ahmad Massoud (pictured centre in 2019), the leader of the Afghan National Resistance Front called on Afghans to ‘begin a national uprising for the dignity, freedom and prosperity of our country’

‘In contradiction to assurances that the Taliban would uphold women’s rights, over the past three weeks women have instead been progressively excluded from the public sphere,’ she told the 47-member council as it opened its autumn session.

She said girls aged over 12 have been barred from attending school in some places in Afghanistan, and Women’s Affairs departments had been at times dismantled.

The Taliban has publicly insisted that its rule of Afghanistan will be more moderate than it was during the 1990s, when its brutal interpretation of Sharia law saw women stripped of their rights along with public floggings and executions.

But near-daily stories have emerged of horrors that Afghan people – particularly women and ethnic minorities – are being subjected to under their new rule.

At the weekend, footage emerged which appeared to show Taliban fighters beheading an Afghan soldier before holding his head aloft while chanting.   

Other footage has shown militants beating and whipping people on the streets as reports emerged of targeted killings and fighters going door-to-door searching for blue US passports.

Journalists have also complained of being kidnapped and beaten, though the Taliban insists it wants a free press to operate within the country.

The beheading footage emerged just days after Taliban militants executed the brother of one of the Afghan resistance fighters’ leaders.

The man was the brother of Amrullah Saleh, the former Afghan vice president who became one of the leaders of anti-Taliban opposition forces in the Panjshir valley.

Thousands of people – mostly the families of Afghan army commanders – protested against the Taliban in their ancestral home city of Kandahar on Tuesday

Demonstrators took to the streets in fury after being told they have three days to vacate their homes, despite some of them living there for decades

Anti-Taliban demonstrators march through Kandahar, furious that they have been forcibly evicted from their homes

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