Sharp Increase In Kidnappings Since Taliban Leadership Change


Afghan security institutions said on Friday that the sharp increase in kidnappings in Afghanistan after the appointment of the Taliban’s new leader was in response to the killing of terrorists in Pakistan.

They also said the Taliban is taking orders from regional countries’ intelligence services.

In response to the late arrival of security forces in Kunduz to track down kidnapped bus passengers, security officials said the matter would be investigated.

However, many analysts feel that Mullah Hibatullah Akhundzada, the Taliban’s new leader, who might not have a military background, is issuing more Fatwas against government forces and calling for kidnappings on highways. They say this is his new approach.

This week two mass kidnapping occurred in the country. On Tuesday insurgents stopped a number of busses and took about 200 passengers hostage. They executed 10 on the spot and later beheaded two others. The majority were released but the fate of at least eight is still not clear.

The second incident took place in Sar-e-Pul on Wednesday when again, insurgents kidnapped at least 17 passengers.

“All the people know that their aim by taking hostages and killing people is only to get the world’s attention and to show the people their existence in Afghanistan. While I saw that all terrorists’ leaders including Osama Bin Ladin, Mullah Omar and Mullah Mansour were killed in Pakistan,” said Dawlat Waziri, the defense ministry’s spokesman.

Kunduz victims who have been freed have criticized security institutions and some said that government forces were aware of Taliban activity in the province.

“The issue of kidnapping in Kunduz was discussed even in the National Security Council (NSC) but soon it will be clear where the problem lay,” said Sediq Sediqqi, spokesman for the ministry of interior.

Afghanistan human rights commission meanwhile called the killing of the hostages a war crime and called for more coordination among security forces.

“Killing of civilians and passengers is a war crime and it is increasing day to day which is a source of concern,” said Lal Gul Lal, head of Afghanistan Human Rights Organization.

“With the coming of the Taliban’s new leader such activities of hostages has increased and we want the government to put more effort into securing the country highways,” said Ghulam Rabani, a Kunduz provincial council member.

Experts and residents believe that with the increase of kidnappings by insurgents, the level of hate will increase toward the terrorists groups. As such they have called on security forces to suppress the terrorist groups.

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