Taliban takeover: Shia Hazara minority subjected to targeted killings, violence, says report

·3-min read
Hazara community (File Photo)
Hazara community (File Photo)

Kabul [Afghanistan], September 5 (ANI): As the Taliban takeover the war-torn country, the Shia Hazara minority in Afghanistan are regularly subjected to targeted killings, violence, and discrimination based on their religious and ethnic identity, said a Canada-based think tank.

In its report, International Forum For Right And Security (IFFRAS) said: "The Shia Hazara minority in Afghanistan are regularly subjected to targeted killings, violence, and discrimination based on their religious and ethnic identity. Increasingly, Hazaras are facing kidnappings from highways, indiscriminate attacks as civilians, and the bombing of their cultural centers. Furthermore, in recent times, their religious centers were also changed to become the frontline of terrorist attacks by the Taliban and Islamic State (IS)."

According to a Canada-based think tank, over the years, the targeted attacks have increased exponentially and the Hazara minority has been subject to daily violence by the Taliban and the Islamic State (IS), targeting Hazara villages, schools, places of worship, gyms, weddings, and markets to maximize civilian casualties.

Soon after the Taliban seized much of Afghanistan in a matter of days, the group destroyed and blew up slain Hazara leader Abdul Ali Mazari's statue in Bamiyan, a grim reminder of the destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas during its previous tenure, IFFRAS noted.

Citing a few attacks on the Hazara community, a Canada-based think tank reported that on November 21, 2015, Taliban gunmen kidnapped Hazaras who were travelling to a major Afghan highway in Zabul province.

"On August 3, 2017, in another incident, Mirzaulang, a village in Sayyad district of Sar-e Pol province was the target of a massive attack organised jointly by the Taliban and IS. The attacks continued for almost three days which resulted in at least 50 deaths and several people getting injured," the report said.

It further stated that on November 20, 2017, in one of the deadliest attacks, a mosque called Imam-e Zaman in Kabul was targeted. According to media reports, the attack resulted in 111 civilian casualties (56 deaths and 55 injured).

In the year 2018 Taliban attacked in Uruzgan Province, leaving dozens of Hazara civilians killed and 500 Hazara families being forced to leave their homes, the report said, adding on November 2018, in another Taliban attack in Jaghori and Malistan districts in Ghanzi Province, 67 Hazaras were killed.

Moreover, on March 12, 2020, the outfit "attacked a maternity hospital in Dasht-e Barchi, a Hazara locality, that killed 24 people including 2 newborn babies, mothers, and members of the hospital staff and on May 8, 2021, nearly 100 people were killed in a triple bombing at the Syed Al-Shahada School, where mostly Hazara girls went to school," the report said.

In desperation, Hazaras have been migrating to neighbouring countries such as Pakistan and Iran. Over the years, they have also migrated to other countries like Australia and the United Kingdom in search of a peaceful, secure and better life.

"With the takeover of the Taliban, once again, the fate of this minority group is "uncertain" and under a constant shadow of tragedy. As the Taliban announces the imposition of "Sharia", one can only wait in despair, hoping this persecuted community would someday be able to live a life of dignity as equal citizens within their own nation," the report added. (ANI)

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