Taliban unlawfully killed 13 ethnic Hazaras, most of them Afghan soldiers who had surrendered to the insurgents, a prominent rights group said.
The killings took place in the village of Kahor in Daykundi province in central Afghanistan on August 30, according to an investigation by Amnesty International.
Eleven of the victims were members of the Afghan national security forces and two were civilians, among them a 17-year-old girl.
The reported killings took place about two weeks after the Taliban took control of Afghanistan in a blitz campaign, culminating in their takeover of Kabul. At the time, Taliban leaders sought to reassure Afghans that they had changed from their previous harsh rule of the country in the late 1990s.
The world has been watching whether the Taliban would live up to their initial promises of tolerance and inclusiveness toward women and ethnic minorities, among them the Shiite Hazaras. However, Taliban actions so far, such as renewed restrictions on women and the appointment of an all-male government, have been met with dismay by the international community.
Hazaras make up around 9% of Afghanistan’s 36 million people. They are often targeted because they are Shiite Muslims in a Sunni-majority country.
Amnesty’s secretary general, Agnes Callamard, said that “these cold-blooded executions are further proof that the Taliban are committing the same horrific abuses they were notorious for during their previous rule of Afghanistan.”
The rights group said Sadiqullah Abed, the Taliban-appointed chief of police for Daykundi, denied any killings had happened and only said that a member of the Taliban had been wounded in an attack in the province.