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Police kill 11 civilians in Uruzgan district

03 August, 2012

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KANDAHAR: The local police on the directives of their commander killed 11 innocent Pashtun civilians in Khas Uruzgan district in Uruzgan province yesterday, an official said Thursday.

The Uruzgan provincial assembly chairman, Muhammad Ibrahim Akhunzada told the Afghan Islamic Press the local police on the orders of their Hazara ethnic commander, Shujaee, killed 11 Pashtun civilians in Matakzo area in Khas Uruzgan district yesterday.

He said the local police commander had been backed by the foreign troops, adding the area people had complained to the authorities concerned about his misconduct time and again.

The provincial administration could not arrest the local police commander as he had been strongly supported by the foreign forces, Akhunzada added.

"I demand of the President Hamid Karzai to arrest the commander and try him according to the constitution of Afghanistan. The situation would deteriorate if he is not arrested," he maintained.

Akhunzada said some reports indicated Shujaee had also captured some Pashtun civilians in the area.

Meanwhile, a security official on condition of anonymity told the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP) that commander Shujaee killed the 11 Pashtun civilians because the Taliban killed two Hazaras on charges of links with the foreign forces two days ago.

However, the spokesman for the Ministry of Interior, Ghulam Sidique Sidiqee rejected the reports as baseless and false and told the AIP that six Taliban had been killed during a clash in the area.

The Uruzgan Governor's spokesman, Abdullah Himmat told the AIP they had received such reports from the area, and that they were investigating the reports.

Meanwhile, the Taliban spokesman Qari Muhammad Yousaf Ahmadi told the AIP that 18 civilians had been killed by local police in Khas Uruzgan district.

He said the local police also demolished houses of people and eight motorcycles in the area. During the visit of the then governor of Uruzgan, Muhammad Omer Sherzad, to the area, the people had complained to him about the alleged misconduct of commander Shujaee. They had told the governor that commander Shujaee was torturing Pashtun civilians on the name of being Taliban members.

At that time a press release of the Uruzgan Governor's office, available with the Afghan Islamic Press (AIP), while pledging investigation against the aforesaid local police commander had said: "A local police commander, Shujaee, has arrested civilians of the area and has been torturing them on the name of being Taliban."

A former district chief of the area had also accused the foreign forces of supporting commander Shujaee besides providing him weapons.

Observers believe the killing of civilians by the local police would bring dangerous results. They are of the view that it would motivate the area people to stand by the Taliban.

End.

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