Taliban ‘set woman on fire for bad cooking’ as protesters beaten in brutal reprisals

A heavily armed Taliban fighter guards the Afghanistan central bank in Kabul - NYTNS / Redux / eyevine

A heavily armed Taliban fighter guards the Afghanistan central bank in Kabul – NYTNS / Redux / eyevine

An Afghan woman was reportedly set on fire by Taliban fighters because they were dissatisfied with her cooking amid a wave of capricious attacks as the Islamists revel in their victory.

The alleged incident described by an Afghan judge comes after the group attacked people waving the Afghan flag and a Germany charity was forced to close after Islamists went door to door hunting journalists and interpreters.

Najla Ayoubi, a former judge and campaigner against violence against women who had to flee after the government collapsed, told Sky News that she had received reports multiple reports of casual abuse of women by insurgents following their string of victories.

One young woman had been “put on fire because she was accused of bad cooking for Taliban fighters” in the north of the country.

“They are forcing people to give them food and cook them food,” she said. “They also force families to marry their young daughters to Taliban fighters. I don’t see where is the promise that they think women should be going to work, when we are seeing all of these atrocities.”

The Taliban’s central leadership has promised to respect women rights, protect civilians, and extend a general amnesty to former government officials and soldiers.

But rank and file fighters on the ground appear to be indulging in both impulsive acts of revenge against civilians and systematic manhunts for government officials, former soldiers, Afghans who worked with foreign troops, journalists, and NGO workers.

A German charity on Friday said it was shutting down safe houses for Afghan nationals who worked with coalition forces because they had become “death traps.”

Marcus Grotian, an active German soldier who runs the network, because they had become too dangerous.

“The Taliban are going door to door looking for local forces,” he said “This was foreseeable, and there has already been a visit to one of the safehouses by the Taliban. Thank God it was empty.”

Deutsche Welle, the German media group, said Taliban fighters hunting for one of its journalists shot and killed one of his relatives and wounded another during a house raid.

“We need to get out before they come knocking on the door,” said one former military interpreter who is still in hiding while waiting to hear whether his application for evacuation by British forces will be successful.

Taliban fighters tortured and murdered at least nine ethnic Hazara men after capturing the province of Ghazni last month, Amnesty International said in a report released on Friday.

The killings in the village of Mundarakh, in Ghazni’s Malistan district, occurred between 4 and 6 July just after the Taliban had seized the area.

Several of the victims had fled the village as the Taliban advanced but were captured by the group when they returned to search for food.

Taliban fighters in Kabul, bearing the country's new flag - AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File

Taliban fighters in Kabul, bearing the country’s new flag – AP Photo/Rahmat Gul, File

Six of the men were shot and three were tortured to death, including one man who was strangled with his own scarf and had his arm muscles sliced off, according to multiple witnesses cited in the report.

Footage that emerged on Friday showed fighters roaming the streets of captured cities abusing and arresting civilians they suspect of disloyalty.

One video showed Taliban gunmen hauling a driver from his car for having the audacity to drive with an Afghan flag on his dashboard.

The man, in a white shalwar Kameez, is forced from his vehicle and his hands bound before being forced into the back of a pick up truck full of fighters. They then drive off.

There were fears of even bloodier reprisals on Friday as a flood of battle hardened Taliban fighters from Helmand and Kandahar poured into the Afghan capital to help consolidate militant control.

Thousands of fighters, including veterans of some of the fiercest battles against US and British forces in the 2000s, have been ordered north as Taliban commanders try to impose authority on the city of four million people.

A Taliban commander called Mullah Jan Muhamamd Akhond told the Telegraph he had travelled to Kabul from Helmand by pick-up truck with more than 50 fighters. “We arrived the day before yesterday, we are deployed now in the ministry of finance building. Almost about 4,000 Taliban came to Kabul from Helmand.”

He said the order had come directly from Sardar Ibrahim, a senior Taliban leader who until recently led military operations.

The deployment suggests senior Taliban leadership trust their southern cadres ahead of other groups.

It also means that British troops, who are currently cooperating at a low level with Taliban fighters in Kabul, may soon find themselves face to face with former enemies keen to seek revenge for dead comrades and relatives.

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