Wednesday 3 October 2012

Beheading of 17 in Helmand a fabrication?

It was widely reported at the end of August that the Taliban had beheaded 17 people, including two women, for dancing at a social event in the Roshanabad area of Helmand. The claim came from Daud Ahmadi of the office of the Governor of Helmand. At the time the Taliban denied any role, saying that in fact the incident involved a number of dancing boys and the consumption of alcohol. I wrote about it here.
Now the Taliban says that because it controls the area, it has conducted a detailed  investigation by a "qualified board of the Islamic Emirate" into the alleged incident.
"The board of Islamic Emirate, with help from the elders, youngsters and distinguished personalities, travelled on foot in the province’s Sangin, Musa Kala, Kajaki, Bughni, Baghran and Zamindawar regions, went from door to door and asked about related information and found that all the locals labelled the incident as fabrication and showed complete ignorance of such a happening."
The statement continues: "Two respected personalities of Roshanabad (Haji La’l Muhammad and Haji Muhammad Yar) said that they were taken by surprise after hearing about the incident and promptly carried out a joint investigation with the Mujahideen and locals in the initial days however nothing as such has transpired in the entire Sangin district and especially in Roshanabad area thus all the residents of the area are now certain that this claim is a blatant lie; nothing like this has taken place here; no one plays music here and neither has anyone been killed for such a thing; no one has seen the bodies of the dead and neither is there a single person aware of the incident."
Unless the governor's office in Helmand can produce photos of this incident or statements from bereaved relatives, I will go along with the view that it was a complete fabrication.

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