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Afghan Fighters Loyal to ISIS Beheaded 7 Hostages, Officials Say

November 09, 2015 | New York Times

The bodies of Hazara civilians, reportedly killed by Islamic State militants in Zabul, Afghanistan, were brought to their hometown in Ghazni. CreditSayed Mustafa/European Pressphoto Agency 

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghan militants claiming loyalty to the Islamic State were found to have beheaded seven ethnic Hazara civilians who had been abducted in the southern Afghan province of Zabul, officials said on Monday, as infighting among Taliban splinter factions intensified.

The Taliban had sent hundreds of extra fighters to the area to battle the Islamic State breakaways and another splinter group there, according to local and security officials. They said the bodies of the Hazaras were found on Saturday after the Taliban had pushed back the Islamic State militants and a group of allied former Taliban dissidents.

Rather than illustrating any major weakening of the Taliban, however, security officials say the splinter groups’ expansion has mostly raised the danger for Afghan civilians and pointed out the increased weakness of the Afghan government and its security forces. Even as the insurgent infighting has intensified, the main Taliban group has seized new territory from the government, particularly in the country’s north and south.

The beheaded Hazara hostages belonged to one of several groups of travelers captured by Islamic State militants more than a month ago and were being held in the Arghandab district in Zabul Province. After their bodies were discovered by the Taliban, local elders helped mediate their transfer to a hospital in government territory on Sunday, the officials said.

Two children were among the seven beheaded hostages, local officials said.

“Their throats had been cut with metal wire,” said Hajji Atta Jan, the head of the Zabul provincial council.

Afghanistan’s Hazara minority has long faced persecution, especially by the Taliban, and there has been an upswing in abductions and violence against them this year. At least 19 more Hazaras are thought to still be held by militants in Zabul, said Abdul Qayoum Sajjadi, a lawmaker who recently traveled to the province to try to broker the Hazaras’ release.

President Ashraf Ghani, describing the beheadings as “heartless killing of innocent individuals,” ordered his security officials to pursue the attackers. But it was clear that the order meant little on the ground; Afghan forces were nowhere in the vicinity of the district where the beheadings happened, officials said.

Family members of the victims, who were all from neighboring Ghazni Province and were abducted while they were traveling, said they planned to bring the bodies to Kabul to protest what they saw as the government’s lack of response to a problem that was becoming chronic.

Officials in Zabul Province said the local cell of the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, had recently allied with another breakaway Taliban faction that is challenging the Taliban’s new supreme leader, Mullah Akhtar Muhammad Mansour.

Just last week, the breakaway Taliban faction formally announced in a gathering in Farah Province that it did not accept Mullah Mansour as the successor to Mullah Muhammad Omar, whose death two years ago was revealed in July.

The group said it was rallying around a new leader, Mullah Muhammad Rasool, a former member of the Taliban movement’s ruling council. His deputy, Mullah Mansour Dadullah, has been operating out of the Khak-e-Afghan district in Zabul.

“The reason we split from Mansour’s self-proclaimed kingdom was that he is the real murderer of Mullah Omar and some high-ranking Taliban during the 14 years of struggle,” Mullah Rasool said in a phone interview. His faction believes that Mullah Omar did not die a natural death, as the group announced, but was killed by Mullah Mansour. “We will bring Mansour before justice soon.”

In response, Mullah Mansour sent as many as 450 fighters to crush the dissident Mullah Dadullah as well as the Islamic State elements in Zabul, according to Afghan security officials and local officials.

“Fighting between Mullah Mansour and Mullah Dadullah is ongoing in three districts of Zabul,” said Hajji Momand Nasratyar, the district governor of Arghandab. “Mansour is beating Dadullah and I.S. very hard — around 86 of I.S. and Dadullah’s men have been killed, and 26 of Mansour’s.”

The Taliban were also reported to have killed several of the Islamic State militants said to be responsible for the beheadings, according to a local official, though that account could not be confirmed more broadly.

Hajji Atta Jan, the Zabul provincial council chief, said the offensive by Mullah Mansour’s fighters was so intense that by late Monday at least three Islamic State commanders, all of them ethnic Uzbeks, had surrendered and were asking their fighters to do the same. The condition the Uzbek commanders had agreed on with Mullah Mansour, according to Mr. Jan, was that they would not be handed over to Pakistan, where they had been based before Pakistani military operations pushed them into Afghan territory.

Despite Mullah Mansour’s swift action against dissent, the announcement of the breakaway faction seems to have rekindled doubts over his leadership that most thought had been quelled by his delivering the Taliban their biggest victory in 14 years, the capture of the northern city of Kunduz in September.

Still, the dissent has not deterred Taliban fighters from making deep inroads against the government in the south as well, where intense fighting has continued in Helmand Province. The Taliban have made gains in the districts of Nad Ali and Greshk, according to Muhammad Karim Attal, the head of the Helmand provincial council.

The Taliban have also overrun police and army bases in the Marja district, one of the centers of President Obama’s 2010 troop surge, and were closing in on the district governor’s compound. Airstrikes had to be called in on Saturday to break the siege of security forces there, officials said.

Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2015/11/10/world/asia/afghan-fighters-loyal-to-isis-beheaded-7-hostages-officials-say.html?ref=world

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Two Hazaras shot dead in Quetta

November 08, 2015 | DAWN

QUETTA: Armed assailants on Saturday evening killed two members of the Hazara community in the provincial capital.

“Armed assailants opened fire at a vehicle on Spini road and killed two members of the Hazara community,” said a police official.

The police official added that one person died at the spot of the attack while the other succumbed to his injuries while undergoing treatment.

“The two individuals belonged to the Hazara community and were residents of Hazara Town,” stated the police official.

The unknown assailants managed to flee the spot of the incident.

A contingent of police and Frontier Corps (FC) personnel reached the site of the incident and commenced initial investigation.

“It was act of target killing,” stated the police official.

There was no claim of responsibility for the incident.

In a separate incident, two bodies were recovered from Khuzdar district in the province.

“The dead bodies were found in Naal tehsil of Khuzdar district,” said a Levies official.

He added that the identity of the victims could not be immediately ascertained and both had received multiple bullet injuries.

Balochistan has been experiencing incident violence and targeted killings since more than a decade. The largest province of the country by area, is home to a low-level insurgency by ethnic Baloch separatists. Al Qaeda-linked militants also operate in the region.

The province shares borders with Afghanistan and Iran.

Source: http://www.dawn.com/news/1218131/two-hazaras-shot-dead-in-quetta-two-bodies-recovered-in-khuzdar

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One killed in shooting incident in Quetta

November 03, 2015  | Dunya News

QUETTA (Dunya News) –  At least one person was killed in recent firing incident  in Balochistan s Quetta today (Tuesday).

As police sources, some unidentified armed bikers opened fire at Hazara Town’s resident Muhammad Sadiq when he arrived at a garage at Jan Muhammad Road, killing him on the spot.

The officers told that attackers fled the scene however, directives have been issued to nab the culprits as early as possible.

According to doctors, eight bullets were found from deceased’s head and back whereas the security personnel stated that 9 mm pistol was used in the incident.

Source: http://dunyanews.tv/en/Crime/306813-One-killed-in-shooting-incident-in-Quetta#.VjjkiHWNiWU.twitter

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Gunmen kill 13 Hazaras in north Afghanistan

September 05, 2015 | AFP

The victims, all male passengers, were plucked from their vehicles and shot dead from close range. -AP/FIle

The victims, all male passengers, were plucked from their vehicles and shot dead from close range. -AP/FIle

MAZAR SHARIF: Unknown gunmen on Saturday killed 13 minority Hazaras travelling in two vehicles in a usually tranquil northern Afghan province, as President Ashraf Ghani implored international donors for renewed support to the “wounded country”.

The victims, all male passengers, were plucked from their vehicles and shot dead from close range in a rare attack targeting ethnic minorities.

No group immediately claimed responsibility for the incident, but it comes as Taliban insurgents ramp up attacks amid a bitter leadership transition.

“The gunmen stopped two vehicles, lined up all the male passengers and shot them dead,” said Jafar Haidari, the governor of Zari district in Balkh, where the incident occurred.

“They spared the life of one woman who was in one of the vehicles. All the victims were Hazaras.” Abdul Razaq Qaderi, the deputy police chief of Balkh, confirmed the fatalities, adding that officials were investigating who was behind it.

The killings bore chilling similarities to another incident in Wardak province south of Kabul, where gunmen opened fire on a bus and killed 13 passengers in late March.

Attacks targeting Shia minorities in Afghanistan are not unheard of, but rare compared to neighbouring Pakistan.

Masked gunmen seized 31 Hazaras from a bus in the southern Afghan province of Zabul in late February as they were returning from Iran.

Nineteen of them were released in May in exchange for scores of Uzbek militant fighters held in government prisons.

Saturday’s killings came as Afghan President Ashraf Ghani implored international donors for their continued support, saying the country faced a host of security and economic challenges.

“Rebuilding Afghanistan is going to be a long-term endeavour,” Ghani said at a conference of donors in Kabul attended by Western delegates and non-governmental organisations.

“Afghanistan is a wounded country. Widespread unemployment, a violent insurgency, and the advance of extremism across the region are increasing the likelihood that (our) economic reform agenda will be undone by political unrest,” added Ghani.

Taliban insurgents are stepping up their summer offensive launched in late April amid a simmering leadership succession dispute after the confirmation of longtime chief Mullah Omar’s death.

Mullah Akhtar Mansoor, a trusted deputy of Omar, was named as the insurgents’ new chief in late July, but the power transition has been acrimonious.

Afghan security forces, stretched on multiple fronts, are facing their first fighting season without the full support of US-led NATO forces.

NATO ended its combat mission in Afghanistan last December and pulled out the bulk of its troops although a 13,000-strong residual force remains for training and counter-terrorism operations.

Source:http://www.dawn.com/news/1205117

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After suffering under the Taliban, an Afghan minority faces new threats

April 10, 2015 | washingtonpost

Esmail Kayhan, 20, an ethnic Hazara holds the portrait of his father, Mohammad Jomah Amini, at their family home in Kabul. (Sudarsan Raghavan/The Washington Post)

Inside the two seized buses, terrified passengers prayed to remain in their seats. The masked gunmen had collected their identification cards and snatched their cellphones, survivors would later recall. Next, they separated males from females and Sunni Muslims from Shiite Muslims. Finally, they ordered the Shiite males — all ethnic Hazaras — off the buses.

The kidnappers then vanished into the harsh terrain of southern Zabul province with 31 men and boys, sparking concerns of a potential fresh wave of sectarian tensions in Afghanistan.

Six weeks later, their families remain in an emotional limbo.

“We don’t know what our sin is,” said Namatullah Noori, 40, after recounting what his mother, one of the surviving passengers, had told him. “From one side, they are targeting us. And from the other side, the government is not helping us.”

His 65-year-old father is among the abducted men.

In recent weeks, concerns have mounted across the nation overthe emergence of the Islamic State, the Iraq- and Syria-based Sunni movement that has violently targeted Shiites and other religious and ethnic groups. Now the events that unfolded on the buses, corroborated by Afghan officials and victims’ relatives, are fanning those fears. In interviews, Afghan officials and Hazara leaders said they suspect that a rogue Taliban faction that has sworn allegiance to the Islamic State is behind the abductions in Zabul.

For the nation’s minority Hazaras, the kidnappings, along with other recent attacks, are grim reminders of the persecution they endured under the rule of the mainly ethnic Pashtun and Sunni Taliban, which viewed Shiites as apostates. Since the abductions in late February, there have been at least three more mass kidnappings of Hazaras in three other provinces, according to Afghan officials and Hazara.net, a nonprofit Web site focused on the community’s rights and culture.

“Historically, we have struggled a lot to be accepted as normal citizens,” said Hayatullah Meheryar, 30, a Hazara activist. “But now these assaults show they want to restrict our development that we’ve achieved in the past 13 years.”

Opportunity to attack

Throughout the 20th century, successive Pashtun-led regimes in Afghanistan targeted the Hazaras, the country’s third-largest ethnic group, making up about 20 percent of the population. Also a religious minority, they were massacred and tortured. Uprisings were viciously crushed. Their religious leaders were jailed; women were abducted. Most Hazaras languished in poverty and humiliation, forced to take menial jobs.

The Taliban carried out mass executions of Hazaras and drove them from their lands and meager livelihoods. Tens of thousands of Hazaras sought refuge in frigid mountain hideouts. In the Hazara ethnic homeland of Bamian province in early 2001, the Taliban methodically destroyed two giant Buddha statues that had survived for centuries, drawing an international outcry.

Since the Taliban regime collapsed in late 2001, however, the Hazaras have experienced a communal rebirth. Many returned from exile in Iran and other countries to forge a future here. A new generation entered universities and later found jobs with the United Nations and international firms and aid agencies. Economically, many flourished. Politically, theygained more clout.

Attacks against them had grown rare. In 2011, a suicide bomber in Kabul killed 56 Shiite worshipers, mostly Hazaras, on the holy day of Ashura in the bloodiest sectarian attack of the war. Last year, gunmen in central Ghowr province executed 15 Hazara civilians traveling in a minibus.

Now, a familiar anxiety is boiling up again within the community.

Most of the Hazaras in the two buses attacked in February were returning from Iran. Some had gone there for construction or other blue-collar jobs, and others to visit relatives.

Noori’s father and mother were inside with his 17-year-old son. They had taken him for medical treatment in Iran. When the teenager saw the gunmen, he fainted. That saved his life. The gunmen left him in the vehicle after Noori’s mother pleaded for mercy. But her pleas couldn’t save her husband.

“Who else but the Taliban can be behind this?” Noori said.

The Taliban’s central command has denied responsibility for the abductions. But the insurgency has become increasingly disjointed, with many Taliban factions acting on their own. Some have become so disgruntled that they have aligned themselves with the Islamic State to gain funds and prominence, according to U.S. military commanders who view the group as a potential threat but still at an embryonic stage in Afghanistan.

Survivors of the Zabul kidnappings told authorities that the gunmen spoke local languages and appeared to be ethnic Pashtuns from their accents. That’s a reason why officials say they think that the assailants were home­grown disciples of the Islamic State, also known as Daesh.

“These are Taliban who have changed their colors,” said Ali Akbar Qaseemi, an influential ethnic Hazara parliamentarian. “Daesh’s goal is to disintegrate the nation by creating problems among ethnic groups in Afghanistan.”

For many Hazaras, the fresh threats against them reflect the vanishing U.S. and international military presence. The abductions unfolded on major highways in areas once patrolled by foreign forces. With far fewer international troops, Afghanistan’s security forces­ are straining to fill the gap. Growing portions of the country are unpoliced.

“With the foreign troops gone, the Taliban see an opportunity to attack us again,” Meheryar said.

Since the abductions in Zabul, Afghan police and security forces­ have mounted unsuccessful operations to rescue the 31 men and boys. So far, there have been no public demands from the kidnappers.

Afghan government officials have declined to provide details of the incident or the efforts to free the victims, beyond vowing to use all means necessary to find them.

“The government is working hard on this matter,” said Ajmal Obaid Abidy, spokesman for Afghan President Ashraf Ghani.

‘We can’t do anything’

In the meantime, the families of the 31 men and boys have embarked on a frustrating daily quest to learn the fate of their loved ones. Some have traveled to Kabul from other cities — even from Pakistan. Each morning, they visit the offices­ of Hazara leaders and government officials. Each evening, they return home disappointed.

“No one is giving us any answers,” said Hussein Ali, 67, whose son is among the abducted. “We can’t do anything.”

“We are poor, working-class people,” Noori said. “We don’t know the influential people. We don’t have power.”

Esmail Kayhan’s family is struggling as much from the lack of knowledge as finances­. For the past year, his father had been working construction in Iran, sending money home every month. Now, he’s among the kidnapped. Kayhan’s older brother, who works in a bakery in Saudi Arabia, was forced to take a loan to help the family.

Kayhan said he is most worried about his mother, who has heart problems, and his grandmother, who is frail. He fears the shock of learning the truth could harm them. So he keeps telling them that his father is still in Iran, dealing with some last-minute business.

The other day, he said, his mother asked him: “Why does your father keep calling you? Why doesn’t he call me?”

He shrugged and said he didn’t know.

As each day passes, the Hazara community is growing angrier — and more organized. Small protests have been launched in Kabul and other parts of the country. There have also been demonstrations in Australia and Europe. On Twitter, activists have created the hashtag #Free31Hazaras, as well as a Web site: http://www.bringback31hazaras.com.au.

This week, they set up tents near the presidential palace in protest. Ali, who has been in the capital for five weeks, said he has no plans to return to his home in Quetta, Pakistan.

“I will remain in Kabul until I learn whether my son is alive or dead,” he said.

Source: http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/asia_pacific/after-suffering-under-the-taliban-an-afghan-minority-faces-new-threats/2015/04/08/035e1c4a-d71b-11e4-bf0b-f648b95a6488_story.html

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Women and children among Hazara passengers singled out and executed in Ghor Afghanistan

July 25, 2014

At least 14 Hazaas, including 3 women and 1 child, passengers are singled out and executed by Taliban in Ghor, Afghanistan

At least 14 Hazaas, including 3 women and 1 child, passengers are singled out and executed by Taliban in Ghor, Afghanistan

At least 14 Hazaas, including 3 women and 1 child, passengers are singled out and executed by Taliban in Ghor, Afghanistan.

The 15 killed were separated by the armed men after their national ID cards were checked, Provincial Governor Sayed Anwar Rahmati told TOLOnews.

An adviser to the provincial governor was also among those killed, said Rahmati.

Local officials said the victims of the shootout belonged to the Hazara ethnic minority.

“Four of them were members of one family,” said Governor Rahmati. “A groom and his bride and the groom’s mother and sister were brutally killed.”

The three vans – two heading to the capital of Kabul and one on its way from Kabul to Cheghcheran – were randomly stopped at one point in the isolated Lal and Sarjungal district.

Ghor Police Chief Gen. Fahim Qayem said an investigation has begun to find out why selected passengers were killed.

However, the suspected Taliban insurgents, blamed for most of the civilian causalities, have not yet commented about the incident.

Afghan President Hamid Karzai expressed his condolences to the victims families in a statement released by the Presidential Palace.

Karzai illustrated with strong words the condemnation of the inhuman killings of the innocent lives, calling it an unforgivable act against humanity and religious values.

Two weeks ago, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expressed its concerns about a 24 percent increase of civilian casualties in 2014 in Afghanistan.

Ghor governor called on the central government to deploy additional security forces to his province amid an increase in insecurity there.

Sources: http://www.tolonews.com/en/afghanistan/15707-taliban-shots-dead-16-civilians-in-ghor

http://www.hazara.net/2014/07/women-and-children-among-hazara-passengers-singled-out-and-executed-in-ghor-afghanistan/

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We are the Walking Dead – Killings of Shia Hazara in Balochistan, Pakistan

July 05, 2014

A man prepares graves for the victims of the February 17, 2013 vegetable market bomb attack in a Shia Hazara area of Quetta city in Pakistan. ©2013 Reuters

A man prepares graves for the victims of the February 17, 2013 vegetable market bomb attack in a Shia Hazara area of Quetta city in Pakistan.
©2013 Reuters

(London) – Pakistan’s government should take all necessary measures to stop Sunni extremist groups in Balochistan province from committing further killings and other abuses against Hazara and other Shia Muslims, Human Rights Watch said in a report released today.

The 62-page report, “‘We are the Walking Dead’: Killings of Shia Hazaras in Balochistan, Pakistan,”documents Sunni militant group attacks on the mostly Shia Hazara community in Balochistan. Since 2008, several hundreds of Hazara have been killed in steadily worsening targeted violence, including two bombings in the provincial capital, Quetta, in January and February 2013 that killed at least 180 people.

“Sunni extremists have targeted Hazara with guns and bombs while they participate in religious processions, pray in mosques, travel to work, or just go about daily life,” said Brad Adams, Asia director. “There is no travel route, no shopping trip, no school run, no work commute that is safe for the Hazara. The government’s failure to put an end to these attacks is as shocking as it is unacceptable.”

The ongoing attacks have meant that the half-million members of the Hazara community in Quetta live in fear, compelled to restrict their movements, leading to economic hardship and curtailed access to education and employment. This oppressive situation has prompted large numbers of Hazara to flee Pakistan for refuge in other countries.
Human Rights Watch interviewed more than 100 survivors, members of victims’ families, law enforcement, security officials, and independent experts for the report.

Since 2008, Pakistan’s Shia Muslim community has been the target of an unprecedented escalation in sectarian violence as Sunni militants have killed thousands of Shia across the country. The Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), group has claimed responsibility for most attacks, yet many of its leaders continue to play command and leadership roles and avoid prosecution or otherwise evade accountability. A number of convicted high-profile LeJ militants and suspects in custody have escaped from military and civilian detention in circumstances the authorities have been unable to explain.

On January 10, 2013, the suicide bombing of a snooker club in Quetta frequented by Hazaras killed 96 people and injured at least 150. Many of the victims were caught in a second blast 10 minutes after the first, striking those who had gone to the aid of the wounded. On February 17, 2013, a bomb exploded in a vegetable market in Quetta’s Hazara Town, killing at least 84 Hazara and injuring more than 160. The LeJ claimed responsibility for both attacks, the bloodiest attacks from sectarian violence in Pakistan since independence in 1947.

“It’s obscene that the Hazara community has been forced into a fearful and terrorized existence because the Pakistani authorities have failed to stop the LeJ’s violence,” Adams said. “But it’s beyond obscene that Pakistani authorities have suggested to Hazara that their severely curtailed rights are simply the price of staying alive.”

Civilian and military security forces deployed in Balochistan have done little to investigate attacks on Hazara or take steps to prevent the next attack. Many Hazara told Human Rights Watch that discriminatory attitudes and hostility towards them by elected officials and state security services are an important reason why such attacks go uninvestigated and unpunished.

The LeJ has also killed with increasing impunity members of the Frontier Corps paramilitary or police assigned to protect Shia processions, pilgrimages, and Hazara neighborhoods. While the Pakistani military and political authorities deny any complicity in the LeJ’s abuses or sympathy for its activities, the LeJ has historically benefitted from ties with elements in the country’s security services.

Pakistani and Balochistan authorities claim to have arrested dozens of suspects in attacks against Shia since 2008, but only a handful are known to have been convicted. Pakistan’s government should disband and disarm the LeJ and criminally investigate its leadership and others implicated in crimes. Pakistan’s international allies and donors should press the government to uphold its international human rights obligations and promote good governance by investigating sectarian killings in Balochistan and prosecuting all those responsible.

“Government officials and security forces need to understand that failure to tackle LeJ atrocities is no longer an option,” Adams said. “Inaction in the face of the slaughter of the Hazara and the wider Shia community is not only a callous betrayal of its own citizens, but suggests state complicity in allowing these crimes to continue.”

Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ) and the Hazara
Pakistan’s current population is estimated at approximately 185 million, of whom approximately 95 percent are Muslim. Sunnis represent approximately 75 percent of this population and Shias 20 percent. The Hazara Shia community is concentrated in Quetta and is estimated to be around 500,000.

The emergence in Afghanistan in 1994 of the Pakistan-government-backed Taliban, militant Sunni Muslims who view Shia as blasphemers, unleashed a new wave of persecution against the Hazara in Afghanistan. In August 1998, when Taliban forces entered the multi-ethnic northern Afghan city of Mazar-i Sharif, they killed at least 2,000 civilians, the majority of them Hazaras.

A number of Pakistanis, including members of the extremist Sunni group Sipah-i-Sahaba (SSP) and its offshoot, the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi (LeJ), fought on the side of the Taliban in Mazar-e Sharif. The links between these Afghan and Pakistani Sunni militant groups and the flood of Hazara into Balochistan prompted a rise in persecution of the Hazara in that province.

The Pakistani military ruler at the time, Gen. Pervez Musharraf, banned the LeJ in 2002, but the ban has not hobbled the LeJ’s ability to carry out sectarian attacks across Pakistan. These include attacks against the Hazara community in Quetta in collaboration with the Taliban.

Since 2002, Malik Ishaq has been the LeJ’s operational chief. Ishaq has been prosecuted for alleged involvement in about 44 incidents of violence that involved the killings of 70 people, mostly from Pakistan’s Shia community. However, the courts have not convicted Ishaq for any of those killings and have acquitted him in 40 terrorism-related cases, including three acquittals by a Rawalpindi court on May 29, 2014 on the basis that “evidence against Ishaq was not sufficient for further proceedings.”

The failure to bring Ishaq to justice underscores both the crisis of Pakistan’s criminal justice system and the impunity for serious abuses this failure facilitates. Usman Saifullah Kurd has been operational chief of the LeJ in Balochistan since at least 2002. Media reports allege that he has been involved in hundreds of killings across the country, particularly Balochistan.

Accounts from “‘We are the Walking Dead’”
“I drive coaches on the route to the Iran border. [The gunmen] came speeding just as we entered Mastung district and intercepted us. I don’t remember how many men there were, but there were all armed with Kalashnikovs [assault rifles] and rocket launchers. They told us to get out. They asked who the Sunnis were, asking for names. Then they told the Sunnis to run. We jumped and ran for our lives. Everybody was so scared … someone ran in this direction and someone in that direction. But while they allowed everybody who was not a Shia to get away, they made sure that the Shias stayed on the bus. Afterward they made them get out and opened fire. I saw it while taking shelter in a nearby building.”
–Sunni Bus Driver, Quetta

“I had left the shop 10 minutes prior to the attack. There were four shops owned and run by Hazara Shias in one row and all four were attacked together. Six to seven people on motorbikes came and opened fire. They killed the Hazaras who were working in the shops and also those who were working at the back in the storeroom. I later learned that, two days before the attack, someone came to a Pashtun shopkeeper whose shop was four shops down from the Hazara-owned shops and asked which ones were owned by Hazaras. The attackers knew exactly how many Hazaras worked in those shops and where. They knew that there were people working in the storerooms as well, which is why they went to the back of the shops and killed people.”
Hazara Shopkeeper, Quetta

“Yusuf was a handsome young boy. He was 22 years old and studying business at a local college. As soon as the [Eid] prayers ended, Yusuf went out of the mosque to greet some friends – I saw him leave. Then the blast took place. Some of the dead and injured had already been rushed to hospital so we went to the Civil Hospital. I walked into the emergency and there was a line of bodies with shrouds covering their faces. I lifted the cover off the first and it was my son. His body was totally burned – there was a cavity where his heart had been and his entire body was marked with pellets. I recognized him only by his hands.

The government is increasingly failing in its duty to protect us. There is only the law of the jungle or worse if you are Shia. I have a good business, I pay taxes but I still feel I am a second-class citizen in Pakistan. Why are Shias to be killed? Why does the government allow Lashkar-e-Jhangvi to kill us?”
–Hazara victim’s father, Quetta

Read the full report here: http://www.hrw.org/reports/2014/06/30/we-are-walking-dead

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