BAGRAM AIRFIELD, Afghanistan - Insurgents executed a district official at a make-shift checkpoint manned by insurgents in eastern Uruzgan province July 12.

Mullah Saleh Mohammed, a member of the Kwajazai Tribal Leader Council in the Khas Uruzgan district, was kidnapped by militants July 11, according to a U.S. Special Forces officer working in the area. District elders were able to gain his release the following day, the officer said.

Then on Tuesday, Mohammed was traveling in a van with others in Khas Uruzgan when they came upon a make-shift checkpoint manned by insurgents, said the USSF officer.
The insurgents stopped the van, pulled Mohammed out, and shot him on the spot, according to those at the scene.

"Mullah Omar sent to his followers a list of Afghans he wants killed," said the SF officer. "Mohammed was number three on that list. That's why he was killed."

Taliban violence has plagued Khas Uruzgan in recent weeks. Less than three weeks ago, Taliban insurgents executed numerous Afghan civilians, beheading some of the victims.

Mohammad Khan, the Uruzgan deputy police chief, said these citizens were killed by the Taliban because they were "working for the government."

Rather than intimidating Khas Uruzgan citizens, the murders are bringing citizens closer together, according to USSF officers.

Recently, local officials in Khas Uruzgan unveiled a plan to increase the number of Afghan National Police to 300. Elders united and called for justice against the insurgents responsible for what they describe as "acts of violence against Muslims."

"This criminal act has fallen squarely upon the Taliban leader Mullah Omar who has issued orders to Taliban commanders to target Afghan civilians, solely because they support their own government and want to see it succeed," said Maj. Paul M. Oliver, a Combined Joint Special Operations Task Force-Afghanistan spokesperson. "The actions of these local officials suggest that the Afghan people reject this violence and intimidation by the Taliban; insurgents are not breaking the will of ordinary Afghan citizens to bring peace and security to their villages and towns."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16