At least nine ethnic Hazara men were killed in an ambush June 24 in a remote area of central Afghanistan that is largely controlled by the Taliban. The Hazaras had come to the district center of Khas Uruzguan, in a Pashtun area of Uruzgan province. Authorities did not confirm widespread reports that the men were beheaded, and there were conflicting reports on whether the Taliban claimed responsibility for the attack. The Taliban frequently execute those accused of spying for the government or coalition forces, but there may have been an ethnic-religious element to the attack; the Taliban carried out a campaign of genocide against the Shi’ite Hazaras during their years in power. (NYT, Central Asia Online, June 25)
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