By: Nauroz Ali
KABUL, Afghanistan: The death toll from the massacre of civilians in Sayad district of Afghanistan’s northern province of Sar-e Pul has risen to 60. The mass killing occurred in Mirzawalang after the ISIS affiliated terrorists claimed they had captured the mainly Shia village over the weekend.
The attack was reportedly carried out under the order of a local Taliban commander who has pledged allegiance to ISIS.
The militants took hundreds of others hostage. Locals say the assailants bearing Taliban and Daesh banners also kidnapped nearly 50 girls and women.
The Taliban later released 235 hostages but an unknown number of people are still being kept hostage.
The Afghan Defense Ministry says the operation to retake the valley will happen soon.
It says commando forces have been deployed to the area and airstrikes are being carried out.
The failure of the government and NATO forces to respond in time has outraged the residents of the flashpoint area.
Afghan president Ashraf Ghani has condemned the massacre of dozens of civilians and desecration of mosques in a Shia village of Mirzawalang.
“Criminal terrorists have once again killed civilians, women and children in Sayad district of Sar-e Pul province, adding to their crimes. “This barbaric act of them
is deemed a direct violation of human rights and a war crime,” Ghani said in a statement.
The comments came after the governor of Sar-e Pul said that “as many as 30 to 40 innocent people… were brutally shot and killed” in the province’s predominately
Shiite village of Mirzawalang after insurgents captured it on Sunday.
Mohammad Zaher Wahdat, the provincial governor, added that several mosques were set ablaze while an unknown number of villagers had also been taken hostage following a
48-hour battle between insurgents and Afghan security forces. He said 12 insurgents and seven Afghan troops had been killed in the fighting.