Taliban hang 7-year-old Afghan boy for ‘spying’
By Jack Bremer|The First Post
The news that Taliban fighters have hanged a seven-year-old boy in Helmand province, after accusing him of passing information to foreign soldiers, is the most graphic in a catalogue of horrors emanating from Afghanistan this month.
The casualties inflicted on Afghan civilians and Nato troops have led to a flurry of diplomatic activity, culminating in David Cameron’s unannounced visit to Kabul this morning, where he told President Hamid Karzai that Afghanistan was his “number one priority”.
The hanging took place on Tuesday in the Sangin district of Helmand, according to a statement from the provincial governor’s office. The boy, who has not yet been named, was apparently abducted by Taliban fighters from the village of Heratyan and then hanged in another village, Salarwi.
The boy’s murder – which the Taliban has denied – was followed yesterday by the killing of 39 people in a suicide bomb attack on a wedding party in the neighbouring province of Kandahar.
No group has yet taken responsibility for the attack, but Kandahar is a Taliban stronghold and is set to be the scene of a major Nato-led operation this summer. The “massive” bomb blast also injured more than 70 people, including the groom.
Far north in Sar-e-Pul province, there are fears – but, again, no proof – that the Taliban, who are opposed to female education, have launched a new offensive to scare girls from attending school. Twenty schoolgirls have been taken to hospital after falling ill – and it is suspected that they were poisoned. Several group poisonings have been reported in girls’ schools this year.
For the military, June has also proved to be a deadly month. A total of 29 Nato troops have been killed since June 1, ten of them on Monday making it the deadliest day for the allied forces in seven months.
Yesterday a soldier from the 2nd Battalion The Princess of Wales’s Royal Regiment died in an explosion in the Nahr-e Saraj district of Helmand – the fifth British death in Afghanistan this week. One of them was Lance Bombardier Mark Chandler, 32, of the 3rd Regiment Royal Horse Artillery, who was killed in a gun battle in the Nad Ali on Tuesday.
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