17 civilians have been killed by Taliban insurgents in Afghanistan’s southern Helmand province, possibly for having been attending a party with music in an area under the control of the Taliban, according to Reuters, BBC News and Khaama Press.
The bodies of two women and 15 men were found by the side of a road in the Musa Qala district. They were either beheaded or had had their throats cut. Some showed signs of beatings or had gunshot wounds.
Local officials said the men had gathered to listen to music and watch the women dance when they were attacked. The Taliban disapprove of men and women mixing socially.
Other sources said the reason for the slaughter was a fight between two Taliban commanders over women, or an insurgent crackdown on suspected government informers.
Afghanistan’s president, Hamid Karzai, blamed the Taliban and ordered a full investigation: “This attack shows that there are irresponsible members among the Taliban,” he said.
BBC News – 27 August 2012:
Seventeen civilians killed in Afghanistan’s Helmand
Khaama Press – 27 August 2012:
Taliban behead 15 men, 3 women in Helmand province