Bloody Mazar-i Sarif

This city in the south of Afghanistan seems to become a symbol of mass killing

For several years, Mazar-i Sharif symbolized resistance to the Taliban. This city was non-officially called the capital of the Northern Alliance which made efforts to oppose the victorious “students.” However, Mazar-i Sharif remained capital only till the Taliban bribed in 1997 Abdul Milik, the Uzbek general Abdulrashid Dustum deputy, who easily admitted their groups to the city. Though, for the first time, the Taliban did not spent so much time in the city.
Local citizens revolted against the Taliban, whose groups did not expect such turn and were almost fully annihilated. Next year, the Taliban took revenge, when they again entered the city. Though, it is hard to say about the real scope of the repression, because there were no journalists and no social organizations in Mazar-i Sharif. Though, there were talks about hundreds of victims.

The rumours are being confirmed only now. According to the general Dustum representative, Faizullah Zaki, in Mazar-i Sharif suburb, mass graves of civilians were found. According to Zaki, the graves are four years old. A commission was created to identify the killed persons, though the results should be waited too long for, because the supposed number of the killed makes several hundreds.
However, Mazar-i Sharif was unlucky for the Taliban not only in 1997. In the late 2001, after the Northern Alliance troops seized the city, the Taliban members who were taken prisoner, revolted in the city prison. The mutiny was soon put down, though the number of the killed is still not known.

Human rights activists state there were several hundreds of dead. Whether they are right, hardly will be known soon. For the mutiny was put down by the Northern Alliance solders, the US allies. Washington hardly would like to admit that its many today’s allies do not differ so much from the Taliban…

Vasily Bubnov

Translated by Vera Solovieva

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Author`s name Olga Savka