Dancing in Afghanistan is hazardous to your health
At least, if you are unfortunate to be living in a place under the control of the Taliban.
Taliban insurgents beheaded 17 Afghan civilians in a rebel-controlled area of southern Afghanistan, officials said Monday, and two NATO troops were killed by an Afghan soldier in the eastern part of the country.
The civilians, two of them women, were killed Sunday night in the Kajaki area of Helmand province, apparently because they were attending a party that featured music and mixed-gender dancing, provincial officials said. The radical Islamist Taliban movement, which enforced an extreme version of Islamic law during its 1996-2001 rule, prohibits such behavior.
The Taliban did not immediately comment on the reported massacre.
Neyamatullah Khan, chief of the Musa Qala district where U.S. Marines have long battled Taliban insurgents, said the Taliban slaughtered the partygoers to show disapproval of the celebration, news agencies reported.
Daoud Ahmadi, a spokesman for the Helmand provincial government, said all of the victims were beheaded but that it was not clear whether they had been shot first. He said authorities sent a team to the site to investigate.
The killings of the two NATO troops occurred in a remote area of eastern Laghman province where the joint forces were on a patrol, said Sarhadi Zwak, a spokesman for the provincial governor.
There were conflicting accounts of the shooting, and it was not immediately clear whether it was part of a spate of "insider" or "green-on-blue" attacks on foreign troops by their supposed Afghan allies.
"Supposed" allies is right. A few more of these attacks and we're going to start segretating Afghan troops and police from their "allies." This attack, if it turns out to be an inside job, only points up the futility of our efforts as we wind down combat operations. Once NATO is gone, the Taliban will have a relatively easy time of retaking control of the country.
And if the murdered dancers are a sign of the future, it's what the Afghan people deserve.