Upto 20 more Hazaras abducted a week after beheading of 7 Hazaras in Zabul, Afghanistan

Last Updated: Nov 23, 2015 |

DEVELOPING STORY

Zabul, Afghanistan – Nov 21, 2015

30 Hazaras kidnapped in Zabul

Afghanistan dipped to new low after news broke of yet another kidnapping of up to 20 Hazara passengers in Zabul, Afghanistan. The recent kidnapping on Nov 21 reportedly happened in ShahJoi district of  Zabul province on the main Qandahar-Kabul highway. A Taliban commander named ‘Taqwa’ is said to be involved in the most recent kidnapping.

On Nov 11, 2013, Kabul and Afghanistan was hit by massive protest rallies after news broke of beheading of seven Hazara passengers – four men, two elderly women and a nine year old girl. The protests from previous Zabul Beheading is still ongoing across the world.

>> More on Hazara Abductions in Afghanistan 

 

World Hazara Council (WHC) Statement on 20 Hazaras taken Hostage in Zabul, Afghanistan – Nov 21, 2015

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Highlights Of News In World Media

WSJ – Gunmen in Afghanistan Kidnap Group of Hazaras – Nov 21, 2015

Anwar Ishaqzai – Provincial governor of Zabul

The Taliban took passengers out of several cars. We have launched a rescue operation. Our forces are out there looking for the abductees.

Local Activist speaking to witnesses

At least five Hazaras traveling on a bus bound for Kabul were saved by other travelers, who helped hide their identities after it was stopped by militants armed with AK-47s and machine guns

Zaki Daryabi – Hazara activist who helped organize ‘Zabul Beheading’ protest

These kidnappings have been occurring for months. This is now a national problem for Afghanistan

 

NYTimes – Afghan Kidnappers Prey on Hazaras – Nov 21, 2015

The government’s powerlessness to stop kidnappings along the country’s main highway —or to return the captives to safety — presents a growing political crisis to the presidency of Ashraf Ghani

Shawali – Driver of one of the buses that were stopped

Six or seven militants climbed aboard and began pulling Hazara passengers out of their seats. They were very angry and treating passengers like animals. They were telling passengers not to talk as they eagerly looked for Hazara people.

John F. Campbell – Top American general in Afghanistan

Testifying to a House committee about the state of security in Afghanistan: Afghans continue to have freedom of movement on Highway 1

Following Information is Factually Incorrect:

NYTimes:
Hazaras, historically Afghanistan’s most persecuted ethnic group, account for perhaps 5 to 10 percent of the country’s population

Accepted Population Figures:

Population : Hazaras – 19%,  Tajik – 25%, Pushtun – 38%, Uzbek – 6%  

Note: In 2010 elections, Hazaras received 23.29% of seats in Wolesi Jirga (Lower House/Parliament)

 

DW – Ethnic Hazaras kidnapped in Afghanistan – Nov 21, 2015

Ghulam Jalani Farahi – Deputy provincial police chief in the Zabul province

Up to 20 ethnic Hazaras were forced off buses by unidentified gunmen before dawn on Saturday on the Kabul-Kandahar highway.

Sayed Mohebullah – Manager for Ahmad Shah Abdali Bus Company

The gunmen asked for identity documents and when people showed them, they took away only Hazaras

 

AlJazeera – Gunmen abduct ‘ethnic Hazara’ in southern Afghanistan – Nov 21, 2015

Mirwais Noorzai –  Zabul police chief

We cannot give a number, but they were about a dozen. The gunmen asked for Hazaras on the bus and asked for identification cards of the passengers

Mohammed Qasim – Bus passenger

They entered the bus pointing guns and asked if there were Shia Hazaras among us. When the driver replied saying ‘no’, they went around checking everyone’s identification cards

Agha Jan – Manager of passenger transport company

The armed men who kidnapped the group were speaking the local language

 

Khaama – Unidentified gunmen kidnap 20 civilians in Zabul – Nov 21, 2015

No group has immediately claimed responsibility for the kidnapping but the previous mass abduction was reportedly the work of Uzbek militants (Note 1) who have announced allegiance with Daesh.

Note 1: 

‘Uzbek Militants’ implies IMU from neighboring Uzbekistan. This is in NO way linked to Uzbeks in Afghanistan. Both Hazaras and Uzbeks are ethnically and politically close to each other in Afghanistan.