New Delhi: Popular Afghanistan comedian Nazar Mohammad, known as Khasha Zwan, was found murdered in Kandahar province last week.
Khasha was reportedly kidnapped on 22 July, dragged out of his house by unidentified gunmen and then tied to a tree. His body was later found with his throat slit. Reports of his murder began surfacing on 23 July.
His family claimed the Taliban was behind his death. However, the radical Islamist group has denied any involvement, according to TOLO News.
While it is unclear when Khasha was killed, distressing footage that surfaced on Twitter Tuesday shows the comedian being kidnapped by gunmen who repeatedly slap him. Photos have also emerged on social media showing Khasha tied to a tree before his execution, and then on the ground with his throat slit.
This video shows the moment, Kandahari comedian, Khasha was arrested by the Taliban, Slapping him inside the car and then killed him. pic.twitter.com/E642Y52uto
— Tajuden Soroush (@TajudenSoroush) July 27, 2021
In this video, Khasha is reportedly being asked by onlookers “where they captured him”, to which he responds: “I was at home, celebrating Eid with my family.” He then jokes about the Taliban, which results in one of his captors repeatedly slapping him. Online news portal Vatan reported that the Taliban can be heard saying: “We will kill this villain, we will not save him.”
Khasha, who earlier served in the Kandahar Police, was popular for his funny songs on social media, according to Afghanistan-based YouTube channel People’s TV.
Taliban terror in Afghanistan
Amid the US and NATO pulling out troops from the country and attempts at a peace deal between the Afghan government and the Taliban, the militant group has swiftly taken over 45 per cent of Afghanistan’s territory.
In just the past two weeks, at least 33 people, including religious scholars, tribal elders and journalists, have been murdered by the Taliban in Kandahar, considered the birthplace of the radical Islamist group.
Tolo News in Afghanistan reported last Thursday that over 100 civilians were killed by unidentified gunmen in the Spin Boldak district of Kandahar. Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was also killed there on 16 July while covering the clashes between Afghan security forces and the Taliban.
According to Human Rights Watch, the Taliban have abducted 300 civilians and have detained them at an unidentified location. The group has been conducting multiple searches between 8 and 16 July to identify people who worked with the government or security forces.
Since Eid, India Today reports, the Taliban have escalated their attacks in Kandahar, resulting in many fleeing the area looking for safety, and now on the verge of starvation.
(Edited by Manasa Mohan)