Last Updated: Nov 23, 2015 |
Zabul, Afghanistan – Nov 21, 2015
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
Highlights Of News In World Media
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
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:
Hazaras, historically Afghanistan’s most persecuted ethnic group, account for perhaps 5 to 10 percent of the country’s population
Accepted Population Figures:
Note: In 2010 elections, Hazaras received 23.29% of seats in Wolesi Jirga (Lower House/Parliament)
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
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
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.
‘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.