Atrocities blamed on Taliban

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The Independent Online
CALLING THE slaughter of Afghan civilians in Afghanistan by Taliban soldiers "one of the worst atrocities of Afghanistan's long civil war", Human Rights Watch called yesterday for a speedy investigation by the UN.

Survivors who reached Pakistan told officials of the US-based group that marauding Taliban soldiers shot at "anything that moves".

They said soldiers went from house to house, dragging out Shia Muslims and shooting them, rounded up thousands of men and packed them into rail cars for transportation to jail.

Patricia Gossman, of Human Rights Watch's Asia division, said: "We are talking about the systematic execution of perhaps 2,000 civilians." The Taliban army took control of the northern opposition stronghold of Mazar- e-Sharif in August.