The elder brother of Amrullah Saleh, the former Vice President of Afghanistan, has been killed by the Taliban. Rohullah Saleh was confirmed to be captured and executed by the Taliban by local journalists and by his family.
“They executed my uncle," Ebadullah Saleh, nephew of Amrullah Saleh, told Reuters in a text message. “They killed him yesterday and would not let us bury him. They kept saying his body should rot."
Rohullah's death comes just days after the Taliban stormed into the capital of the Panjshir province, Bazarak. Panjshir had re-emerged as the heartland of the resistance against the Taliban.
But while Panjshir had been prepared to fight the Taliban when they had come in power in 1995, the local militias were severely weakened as a result of internal politics of the previous Afghanistan government.
The Northern Resistance Front, as the group calls itself, still claims that it controls over 60 percent of the province.
Amrullah Saleh was one of the top deputies of Ahmad Shah Massoud, the founder of the previous resistance, the Northern Alliance. Saleh along with Shah's son, Ahmad Massoud, has now emerged as the top leader of the renewed resistance movement.
Saleh, who is an ethnic Tajik like most of the northern resistance including Shah, was orphaned at an early age and joined the resistance during the tumultuous days of anarchy post the Soviet invasion.
Being a key figure in establishing diplomatic relations between the Northern Alliance and India, he has been a staunch critic of the Taliban. Having fought the group most of his life, his opinions against the intolerant group were solidified when the Taliban tortured and killed his sister in order to find him.
With a second personal loss coming at the hands of the Taliban, Saleh would be further unwilling to find a compromise with the group that he hates even as the resistance force pleads for aid from Western and foreign powers to stand against the Taliban onslaught.
(Edited by : Anshul)
First Published: IST