Afghan police chief allied with Taliban fighters who killed aid workers

Phil Boehmke
The Taliban fighters who savagely attacked and murdered eight medical aid workers on August 5th were allowed unrestricted freedom of movement through the region by the district police chief. The Australian reports that Kuran Wa Manjan district Police Chief Malik had entered into an agreement with the Taliban in the Badakhshan region.

"Malik has cut a deal with the Taliban to protect his interests in the mining industry up there," said an intelligence agent who did not want his name made public. "He lets the Taliban use his land to move through as long as they don't cause trouble on his territory."

The Afghan government recently brought Commander Malik (a mujaheddin fighter during the Soviet occupation) and his militia into the national police force in an attempt to reign in their activities and assert greater control in the region. However an unidentified intelligence source said.


"He still acts outside the government. He lives in a large house in the mountains and it is almost impossible to reach," said the agent.

Another intelligence source reports that Malik turns a blind eye to the activities of Taliban fighters as part of a deal to maintain control over his lapis lazuli mines. Since his installation as police chief.


Taliban fighters have begun to use southern Badakhshan as a transit rout into previously secure northern provinces such as Baghlan and Kunduz. Both provinces have been destabilized by the Taliban in the past year, forcing German troops to mobilise a ground offensive in Kunduz.

On August 5th eight medical aid volunteers from the International Assistance Mission were attacked and brutally murdered by Tabiban fighters as they returned from rendering aid to villagers in the Nuristan region.


Their three vehicles had stopped after fording a swollen river that had washed out part of the dirt track.

As they clammered out of their cars, 10 Taliban fighters rushed at them, shooting in the air. "What's going on?" shouted the trek leader, Tom Little, 62. One of the gunmen knocked him to the ground with his rifle before killing him with a shot to the gut.

When two women climbed into a stationary 4WD one of the attackers lobbed a grenade into the Toyota, killing both.

Another gunman whipped British doctor Karen Woo across her face with the butt of his Kalashnikov before shooting her twice in the back. The team's cook was shot dead as he hid beneath a 4WD. The sole survivor, an Afghan driver called Safiullah, said he was spared after falling to his knees and reciting Koran verses. As the attackers fled, dragging Safiullah with them , their leader, who spoke Urdu, said into his radio, "Mission complete," suggesting that the ambush had been planned.

Afghan intelligence officers believe that the attack was intentional and that the Taliban had been tracking the medical aid workers through the mountain passes between Nuristan and Badakshan for a number of days while waiting for an ideal time and place to attack. An agent with the Afghan Security Service has said that the evidence points to the inescapable conclusion that this was a "Targeted killing."


The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the brutal murder of the eight unarmed Christian aid workers. Commander Malik may not have been directly involved, but his cooperation with the Taliban was undoubtedly an enabling factor.



paboehmke@yahoo.com

 
The Taliban fighters who savagely attacked and murdered eight medical aid workers on August 5th were allowed unrestricted freedom of movement through the region by the district police chief. The Australian reports that Kuran Wa Manjan district Police Chief Malik had entered into an agreement with the Taliban in the Badakhshan region.

"Malik has cut a deal with the Taliban to protect his interests in the mining industry up there," said an intelligence agent who did not want his name made public. "He lets the Taliban use his land to move through as long as they don't cause trouble on his territory."

The Afghan government recently brought Commander Malik (a mujaheddin fighter during the Soviet occupation) and his militia into the national police force in an attempt to reign in their activities and assert greater control in the region. However an unidentified intelligence source said.


"He still acts outside the government. He lives in a large house in the mountains and it is almost impossible to reach," said the agent.

Another intelligence source reports that Malik turns a blind eye to the activities of Taliban fighters as part of a deal to maintain control over his lapis lazuli mines. Since his installation as police chief.


Taliban fighters have begun to use southern Badakhshan as a transit rout into previously secure northern provinces such as Baghlan and Kunduz. Both provinces have been destabilized by the Taliban in the past year, forcing German troops to mobilise a ground offensive in Kunduz.

On August 5th eight medical aid volunteers from the International Assistance Mission were attacked and brutally murdered by Tabiban fighters as they returned from rendering aid to villagers in the Nuristan region.


Their three vehicles had stopped after fording a swollen river that had washed out part of the dirt track.

As they clammered out of their cars, 10 Taliban fighters rushed at them, shooting in the air. "What's going on?" shouted the trek leader, Tom Little, 62. One of the gunmen knocked him to the ground with his rifle before killing him with a shot to the gut.

When two women climbed into a stationary 4WD one of the attackers lobbed a grenade into the Toyota, killing both.

Another gunman whipped British doctor Karen Woo across her face with the butt of his Kalashnikov before shooting her twice in the back. The team's cook was shot dead as he hid beneath a 4WD. The sole survivor, an Afghan driver called Safiullah, said he was spared after falling to his knees and reciting Koran verses. As the attackers fled, dragging Safiullah with them , their leader, who spoke Urdu, said into his radio, "Mission complete," suggesting that the ambush had been planned.

Afghan intelligence officers believe that the attack was intentional and that the Taliban had been tracking the medical aid workers through the mountain passes between Nuristan and Badakshan for a number of days while waiting for an ideal time and place to attack. An agent with the Afghan Security Service has said that the evidence points to the inescapable conclusion that this was a "Targeted killing."


The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the brutal murder of the eight unarmed Christian aid workers. Commander Malik may not have been directly involved, but his cooperation with the Taliban was undoubtedly an enabling factor.



paboehmke@yahoo.com