Taliban execute 13 Balkh youth in mass shooting

Taliban-militants-615x300@2xMAZAR-I-SHARIF: Suspected Taliban militants killed more than a dozen youth in a mass shooting inside a mosque in Chamtal district of northern Balkh province on Saturday.

The youth were said to be residents of Balkh district and had come to Chamtal.

Provincial police spokesman Sher Jan Durrani confirmed the mass shooting in Chamtal district and said the victims were not police or local police. He had also no information about the exact number of the slain persons.

Lawmaker Gulalai Noor Safi told Pajhwok Afghan News the slain individuals were residents of Balkh district.

She said the victims had no association with police, local police or uprising groups. She wondered why the youth went to such a dangerous place.

She said seven of the victims belonged to the same family of Sakhi. She put the number of the victims at 13, saying another four youth had been captured alive by the Taliban

The lawmaker suspected a plot behind the mass shooting, asking the government to determine who sent the youth to Chamtal and why they were killed.

A resident of Balkh district, Syed Alam, said one of the victims, Wilayat Khan, was his villager who had no links with any party to the conflict.

He said Wilayat Khan left behind a small daughter and four sons.

Provincial security officials said they were gathering information about the incident and full investigation would be launched soon.

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