Afghanistan attacks 'may amount to war crimes'

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released a special report Aug. 20 detailing human rights violations committed during attacks on Mirza Olang village (Sayyad district, Sari Pul province) earlier this month. During the three-day assault, Taliban and Islamic State fighters reportedly killed at least 36 people in the predominantly Shi'ite village. Those killed included both civilians and members of a pro-government militia who were unarmed prior to execution. While UNAMA verified the killings and the separation of women and children, it could not verify other claims of beheadings, abductions of women, or sexual assault. Further investigations are required to ascertain whether the attacks amounted to sectarian violence. According to the report, "These killings, corroborated by multiple credible sources, constitute violations of international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes." The Taliban have rejected the claims and denied the involvement of IS fighters.

From Jurist, Aug. 22. Used with permission.

Note: Afghanistan has seen relentless attacks on Hazaras and other Shi'ites over the past year. Pro-government paramilitaries have also been accused of rights abuses.

Terror strikes Afghan Shi'ites —yet again

A suicide bombing followed by gunfire as Shia Muslims gathered for Friday prayers at a mosque in the Afghan capital  killed at least 20 people and wounded dozens of others with ISIS claiming responsibility. After the blast at the Imam Zaman mosque, in the Qala-Najara neighbourhood in north Kabul, gunmen stormed in and began shooting. (Al Jazeera)