By lex, on May 26th, 2010
Tribal elders have been killed by the Taliban across the south and east of the country; in recent months, elders in Kandahar Province have been especially hard hit. At least 13 have been shot since February.
In the mid-1990s the killings were common practice in Khost as well when the Taliban were seeking to take over Afghanistan, said Arsala Jamal, the former governor of Khost, who is now the acting minister of Borders and Tribal Affairs. By killing just a few elders, the Taliban were able to terrify the others and thus found it easier to gain dominance, he said.
The elders who were attacked this week were from villages that had received grants worth just a few thousand dollars from Afghanistan’s National Solidarity program, which is one of the government’s most successful efforts to spur grass-roots development projects. The Taliban, hearing of the awards, demanded the money, said General Ishaqzai.
“The last time, the Taliban did the same thing in this place and they took all the money, which was given to the village elders,” General Ishaqzai said. “This time the elders did not want to give the Taliban the money. That is why they took them from their houses and killed them.”
Hearts of darkness.