Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Beheadings send a chill through Afghanistan

By Pamela Constable December 29 at 4:19 PM, WashPost

KABUL — At a ceremony inaugurating the new “Afghan Pentagon” here Monday, President Ashraf Ghani stressed the importance of building a modern military, subservient to the nation’s constitution and laws rather than to powerful individuals. He portrayed the gleaming new facility, built with U.S. funds, as the central command for that mission.

But 150 miles east, in the embattled district of Achin, news was spreading of an atrocity committed by a private pro-government militia over the weekend. After Islamic State forces captured and beheaded four of its members, Afghan officials reported, the militia retaliated by decapitating four Islamic State prisoners, later placing their heads on piles of stones along a main road.

The incident echoed the worst abuses of Afghanistan’s civil war two decades ago and raised fears that tribal strongmen, goaded by barbaric opponents, could undercut the Ghani government’s efforts to wage a professional fight against Taliban and Islamic State insurgents.

(More here.)

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