- The Taliban appear to have executed a former Afghan police chief who had fought against the group for decades.
- Shocking footage of the execution circulated on social media and has been verified by Afghan officials.
- The killing comes days after the group promised they wouldn’t take action against their enemies.
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A harrowing video appears to show the Taliban executing an Afghan police chief, days after the group promised not to seek revenge against former opponents following their takeover of Afghanistan.
The graphic video, circulated on Twitter, shows General Haji Mullah Achakzai kneeling while blindfolded and handcuffed before being gunned down.
General Achakzai was the chief of Badghis Province near Herat in Afghanistan and was reportedly arrested by the Taliban after they seized power of the area last week.
Afghan security advisor Nasser Waziri, who personally knew Achakzai, told Newsweek that the Taliban had shared the video through an affiliated network and that it had been verified by government officials.
“He was surrounded by the Taliban and had no choice but to surrender last night,” Waziri told the outlet.
“The Taliban targeted Achakzai because he was a high-ranking intelligence official.”
The general, in his late 60s, was an experienced commander who had fought against the Taliban for decades.
Despite assurances from the Taliban that they would not take action against their enemies, the group has reportedly started “door-to-door investigations” to try and identify former US allies, according to a UN report.
Many former government officials are now in hiding and fear for their lives.
Nasser Waziri told Newsweek that he and other senior advisors have set up an online private group chat that includes up to 100 Afghan officials who used to work with the civil government to track individuals’ whereabouts and make sure they are safe from the Taliban.
He said the group uses VPNs, regularly wipes their messages, and reportedly has insider information on who the Taliban will target next.
Although the Taliban have attempted to portray themselves as a reformed, moderate group, harrowing reports of violence have emerged from Afghanistan, including that fighters set an Afghan woman on fire for bad cooking.
The group has also seized billions of dollars worth of US-made weapons and released a propaganda video showing them brandishing state-of-the-art weapons.