By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
(Worthy News) – Taliban fighters ruling Afghanistan have begun hunting for Afghan girls to marry while seeking to kill journalists, Christians, Hazara men, and people who worked for the U.S.-led military, several sources say.
In one of the latest incidents, the German broadcaster Deutsche Welle (DW) said that Taliban militants searching for one of its journalists shot dead a member of his family and severely injured another. In addition, three more DW reporters had had their homes raided, DW added.
Separately news emerged that Taliban fighters massacred nine ethnic Hazara men after taking control of Afghanistan’s Ghazni province last month, rights group Amnesty International said in a new report.
In the findings, witnesses say the killings occurred from July 4 to 6 in Mundarakht, Malistan district.
Christians are, among others facing imminent death as the Taliban has declared Afghanistan an Islamic Emirate with a strict interpretation of Islam, or Sharia law.
Residents and activists also report that Taliban fighters are kidnapping girls to marry them. Separately the gunmen search perceived or known supporters of the U.S.-led coalition and have already killed several anti-Taliban protestors, according to footage and sources familiar with the situation.
These accounts countered the Taliban’s claims that it had changed. Instead, the Islamist militant group promised this week it would guarantee security for everyone. And the Taliban pledged to allow free media – banned when it was last in power from 1996 to 2001 – when it gave its first news conference on Tuesday since capturing the capital Kabul.
Amid the reported killing spree, U.S. President Joe Biden was under pressure to speed up the evacuation of tens of thousands of Americans and those who supported them. However, even allies have asked Biden to postpone a complete withdrawal beyond his self-imposed deadline of August 31.
Footage showed that access to the airport had been heavily restricted by Taliban fighters who were beaten people and even shot at crowds trying to flee the country.
The embattled President Biden attempted Friday to ensure his nation that he is in control of the situation, adding that the United States evacuated about 13,000 people from Afghanistan since August 14.
Asked about those staying behind, he said: “We will get you home. Please make no mistake; this evacuation mission is dangerous and involves risks to our armed forces. And it’s being conducted under difficult circumstances.” However, “I cannot promise what the final outcome will be,” the President stressed in remarks at the White House.
That wasn’t what several allies in the NATO military alliance wanted to hear. “The U.S. has stated that the timeline ends on August 31. But several allies raised during the discussion today, the need to potentially extend that to be able to get more people out,” confirmed NATO Secretary-General General Jens Stoltenberg.
After a NATO foreign ministers meeting, he stressed that allies would continue to participate in the evacuation amid reports that European forces passed Taliban lines into Kabul. “Our focus is to get, of course, our own staff, people, people working for NATO, for NATO-allied countries for partner countries. But also Afghans, and we are working hard to help the Afghans, we have been able to get some out but we, we are working on to get more Afghans,s out of Afghanistan.”
There was some positive news despite ongoing shootings, with a video showing a uniformed serviceman lifting a baby over a razor-wire barrier outside the Kabul airport. The man was identified as U.S. Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit, a spokesman said Friday.
The unit is there to help secure the airport as the United States and other nations evacuate thousands of Afghans seeking to flee
a Taliban takeover.
In the footage, an Afghan man handed his crying infant to a U.S. serviceman as anxious crowds mobbed the airport perimeter in hopes of securing a flight. The video showed the Marine reaching down and grabbing the red-faced baby by the arm, lifting it up and over the barrier as someone else can be heard yelling in English: “Baby! Baby!”
“I can confirm the uniformed service member depicted in the video is a Marine with the 24th Marine Expeditionary Unit,” Marine Corps spokesman. Maj. Jim Stenger said. “The baby seen in the video was taken to a medical treatment facility on-site and cared for by medical professionals,” Stenger said. He later confirmed that the baby was reunited with the father and is safe at the airport.
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