Taliban fighters raping dead bodies and kidnapping girls as young as 12

Taliban fighters in Afghanistan are raping children and having sex with dead bodies, according to one eye-witness.

A former Afghan police officer who has fled the country to India – who TV stations are calling Muskan to protect her identity – claims the fighters are going door to door to find girls as young as 12 to take as their "wives."

She told Indian TV station News18 if the girls resisted they would be shot, and their bodies defiled.

"When we were there, we received numerous warnings," she said.

"If you go to work, you are under threat, your family is under threat. After one warning, they would stop giving any warning.

"They rape dead bodies too. They don't care whether the person is dead or alive. Can you imagine this?"

Girls and women endured brutal treatment under the previous Taliban regime in the 90s where they could be executed or publically flogged for "crimes" such as trying to get an education, standing outside their homes, walking in public without a male chaperone, or fleeing from husbands who were abusing them.

Examples of their savagery included chopping off women's fingers for wearing nail varnish and executing a woman for wearing too-tight clothing.

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Despite the new leaders claiming to have ended such policies, evidence from refugees fleeing the countryside suggests otherwise.

They say Taliban warlords still see unmarried and widowed women, aged 12 to 45, as "qhanimat" – the spoils of war to be divided amongst their fighters.

Some have demanded communities turn over lists of such girls and women so they can be taken as "wives" and are going door to door to find them.

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They also claim civilians in the country who co-operated with the Western armed forces, or the previous government, are being routinely murdered.

Earlier this month reports surfaced of a massacre where the Taliban targeted members of the Hazara minority group.

Six men were shot and three were tortured to death, including one man who was strangled with his own scarf and had his arm muscles sliced off.

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To prevent news of other massacres from leaking out, it is claimed the Taliban are blocking mobile phone signals in communities.

However, the Taliban has claimed it will crack down on such atrocities.

One leader told the Reuters news agency: "We have heard of some cases of atrocities and crimes against civilians. If Talibs [members] are doing these law and order problems, they will be investigated.

"We can understand the panic, stress, and anxiety. People think we will not be accountable, but that will not be the case."

If you or somebody you know has been affected by this story, contact Victim Support for free, confidential advice on 0845 30 30 900 or visit their website, www.victimsupport.org.uk.

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