AFGHANISTAN – The Independent reporting Taliban has admitted to the killing of a famous comic in the country’s southern region after a video emerged of him being slapped by two unidentified men in a car, raising concerns about rising atrocities by the insurgent group.
However, even during the abuse comedian Nazar Mohammad was facing at the hands of the Taliban in the video, he was heard making jokes about the insurgent group.
Taliban spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid acknowledged that the two men in the video were Taliban. Last week, local media reports claimed Mohammad, better known as Khasha Zwan, was picked up by the Taliban from his home and shot dead.
However, initially, the insurgent group denied any involvement in the murder of the comic. But after a video, widely shared on social media, showed Khasha getting slapped and abused while he was held by two men in a car, the insurgent group admitted to the crime.
The men have been arrested and will be tried in a Taliban court, the spokesperson of the insurgent group said. He also accused that the comic was a member of the Afghan National Police and had been implicated in the torture and killing of Taliban men.
He added that the Taliban should have arrested the comic and brought him before their court, instead of killing him.
Khasha, a widely known comic for his crude jokes, funny songs and making fun of himself on the internet, also earlier served in the Kandahar police.
Artists and prominent personalities from Afghanistan have expressed their condolences for Khasha on the internet while also raising concerns about the future of Afghanistan with the Taliban’s activities intensifying in the recent months just after the US-led foreign forces began their final withdrawal.
Hundreds of people are reportedly being held by Taliban in areas they have overrun. Schools have been burned and reports have emerged of restrictions being imposed on women akin to those imposed when the insurgents last ruled Afghanistan. Back then, they had denied girls access to schools, and barred women from working.
A few weeks ago, Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui, embedded with Afghan forces, was killed in an attack by the Taliban.