Taliban insurgents have killed two farmers after kidnapping them three days ago.
The farmers, along with two children were en-route to a market in Jawzjan, from Sar-e-Pul, to sell their produce when Taliban insurgents kidnapped them.
According to a relative of one of the farmers, insurgents held the men and the two children for three days. He said the Taliban had kidnapped his brother, his brother’s two sons and another farmer.
The children were freed after three days but the men were killed.
Mohammad Jafari, the brother of one of the victims, said people are tired of the lack of security and accused government of not being able to provide security to its people.
He said the farmers had been taking onions to Jawzjan to sell.
“My brother along with his two children and a man were kidnaped by the Taliban in Sar-e-Pul and the Taliban released my two nephews but they [Taliban] killed my brother and the other man. We are tired of this situation. If the government cannot provide us with security they should at least tell us to leave,” said Jafari.
Locals in the area said that the two farmers were not affiliated to any organization but that they were just farmers, trying to feed their families by growing fresh produce.
The residents said that if the government does not address their problems they will take action themselves.
“If the government does not listen to our complaints we have enough power to defend ourselves but we are not in favor of violence and war but we want everything to be solved through peace,” said Qari Rashid one of the residents.
Meanwhile, provincial council officials said that one of the reasons behind the increase in such incidents in the province was the lack of security forces in the area to fight the Taliban.
“One of the main reasons that such incidents take place by the anti-government armed opponents is the lack of security forces to combat Taliban and also the poor salaries the police earn,” said Mahammad Noor Rahmani the provincial council head.
He said there is a significant difference in pay between Sar-e-Pul police officers and that of Balkh officers. According to him, Sar-e-Pul officers earn on average 7,000 Afs (about $110 USD) a month while Balkh officers get about 12,000 Afs a month.
Officials say that the farmers died during a police operation in the area. Officials said police clashed with the Taliban for hours in the Sayed Abad village. The Taliban however, killed the farmers before fleeing the area.
TOLOnews reporter tried to get comment from Sar-e-Pul’s acting governor on the issue but was not able to.