Reported by KAYLEE GREENLEE, REPORTER | July 13, 2021
Video reportedly shows Taliban insurgents executing 22 commandos with the Afghan Special Forces on June 16, CNN reported Tuesday.
Several unarmed men came out of a building after they were told to “surrender, commandos, surrender,” video shows, according to CNN. At least a dozen people were shot by Taliban insurgents yelling “Allahu Akhbar” in the Faryab province town of Dawlat Abad, near the border of Turkmenistan, CNN reported.
CNN obtained several videos of the shooting and spoke with multiple witnesses to the incident. The Taliban reportedly told CNN that the videos were fake and made by the government to encourage people not to surrender to the insurgents.
A Taliban spokesperson said the insurgents were holding 24 Afghan commandos captured in Faryab, according to CNN. The Red Cross confirmed 22 bodies were recovered after the shooting and the Afghan Ministry of Defense told CNN the Taliban killed the commandos.
The Taliban told CNN, “fake videos and footage of years-old video showing activities of Daesh [ISIS] militias are also passed off as recent actions committed by the Mujahideen of Islamic Emirate.”
Thousands of people have been displaced since U.S. forces began withdrawing from Afghanistan and Taliban insurgents started taking over the country’s districts, CNN reported. The insurgents say they’ve seized nearly 200 districts across the country though only 76 districts were confirmed to have fallen, according to the Long War Journal.
The Afghan fighters ran out of ammunition and were reportedly surrounded by Taliban insurgents, according to CNN. The Afghan forces bodies were found across an outdoor market, videos show, CNN reported.
“Don’t shoot them, don’t shoot them, I beg you don’t shoot them,” a bystander reportedly said in Pashto, according to CNN. The witness asked the gunmen how they, of the main ethnic group in the country, were killing Afghans, CNN reported. Another voice told the Taliban insurgents to “take everything off them,” in a separate video.
A man told an insurgent to “open his [an Afghan commando’s] body armor,” and they gathered their equipment, another video reportedly shows, according to CNN.
One witness said the Afghan commandos had tanks and were surrounded by the Taliban, CNN reported. “Then they [the taliban] brought them into the middle of the street and shot them all,” the witness said, according to CNN.
The first witness and a shopkeeper both said the insurgents sounded foreign and that they couldn’t understand what they said to each other, CNN reported.
The Afghan commandos “were not fighting. They all put their hands up and surrendered, and (the Taliban) were just shooting,” the shopkeeper said, according to CNN.
Another shopkeeper who witnessed the shooting through a hole in the wall said, “I was so scared when the Taliban started shooting the commandos. On that day everyone was scared. I was hiding in my shop,” CNN reported.
The Afghan Special Forces were trained and supported by U.S. forces, though since the troop withdrawal the forces haven’t had access to U.S. intelligence or air support, according to CNN.