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HomeWorldTaliban appoints former Guantanamo Bay detainee to lead fight in Panjshir

Taliban appoints former Guantanamo Bay detainee to lead fight in Panjshir

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Kabul [Afghanistan], August 22 (ANI): Taliban has appointed Mullah Abdul Qayyum Zakir as a special military commander for Panjshir province in northern Afghanistan and the Andarab district of Baghlan province.

Zakir, regarded as one of the top military commanders in the Taliban ranks, will lead the fight against the National Resistance Front (NRF) in the restive Afghan province of Panjshir, FDD’s Long War Journal reported.

He was held at the Guantanamo Bay Detention Facility for six years, the report added.

According to the American news website, Zakir is considered to be one of the Taliban’s most effective and dangerous military commanders. Zakir was captured in Afghanistan in December of 2001 and later transferred to Afghanistan in 2007.

“Zakir played a key role in organizing the Taliban’s military and directing its strategy of contesting and seizing rural districts in the south in preparation for the Taliban’s push to take control of the population centers in the summer of 2021,” said American military commentator Bill Roggio.

This latest appointment comes as clashes have intensified in recent months between Taliban and NRF forces in Panjshir.

Back in May, Human Rights Watch (HRW) said Taliban security forces in northern Afghanistan’s Panjshir province have unlawfully detained and tortured residents accused of association with an opposition armed group.

Since mid-May, fighting has escalated in the province as National Resistance Front (NRF) forces have attacked Taliban units and checkpoints. The Taliban have responded by deploying to the province thousands of fighters, who have carried out search operations targeting communities they allege are supporting the NRF.

Rights groups say Taliban forces have committed summary executions and enforced disappearances of captured fighters and other detainees, which are war crimes.

“Taliban forces in Panjshir province have quickly resorted to beating civilians in their response to fighting against the opposition National Resistance Front,” said Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch. “The Taliban’s longstanding failure to punish those responsible for serious abuses in their ranks puts more civilians at risk.”

Former detainees in early June reported that Taliban security forces detained about 80 residents in Panjshir’s Khenj district and beat them to compel them to provide information about the NRF, according to HRW. After several days, the Taliban released 70, but have continued to hold 10 people whose relatives they accuse of being members of the group, a form of collective punishment.

Former detainees said the district jail held nearly 100 others who have alleged links to the NRF. None had access to their families or lawyers. Others have been held in informal detention facilities. (ANI)

This report is auto-generated from ANI news service. ThePrint holds no responsibility for its content.

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