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Amrullah Saleh's Elder Brother Rohullah Abducted, Tortured to Death by Taliban

Image of Rohullah Saleh. (Credits: Twitter)

Image of Rohullah Saleh. (Credits: Twitter)

Afghan journalist Natiq Malikzada tweeted citing sources that Rohullah was captured and tortured before being killed.

Rohullah Saleh, the elder brother of deposed Afghanistan Vice President Amrullah Saleh, has been killed by the Taliban. Rohullah was captured and tortured by the militant group, his family has confirmed. New Delhi has also updated its record in the case.

The news that Saleh’s brother Rohullah Azizi was killed came days after Taliban forces took control of the provincial centre of Panjshir, the last province holding out against them.

“They executed my uncle," Ebadullah 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."

The Urdu language account of the Taliban information service Alemarah said that “according to reports" Rohullah Saleh was killed during fighting in Panjshir.

Saleh, a former head of the National Directorate of Security, the intelligence service of the Western-backed government that collapsed last month, is at large though his exact location remains unclear. The Taliban had also issued a video from reportedly the same spot Amrullah had addressed public last week, claiming he was still in Panjshir.

The National Resistance Front of Afghanistan, which groups opposition forces loyal to local leader Ahmad Massoud, has pledged to continue opposing the Taliban even after the fall of Panjshir’s provincial capital Bazarak.

Amrullah Saleh, who was born in Panjshir in 1972 to a Tajik family, was orphaned at a young age. He was raised in the heart of where the resistance began under the leader of the resistance, Ahmad Shah Massoud, and joined the movement at a young age.

Saleh’s sister was tortured to death by Taliban fighters in 1996, according to reports. “What happened in 1996 changed my perception of the Taliban permanently," Saleh wrote in an editorial for Time magazine. He fought alongside his leader and as part of the Northern Alliance to take down the Taliban.

In 1997, Saleh was appointed by Massoud to lead the United Front’s international liaison office at the Embassy of Afghanistan in Dushanbe, Tajikistan, where he served as a coordinator for non-governmental (humanitarian) organisations and as a liaison partner for foreign intelligence agencies, reports said.

Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s last resistance group denounced on Wednesday the Taliban’s new interim government as “illegitimate" and destined for “pariah" status, after its leader Ahmad Massoud called for a nationwide uprising against the country’s Islamist rulers.

Led by the son of legendary resistance fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud — who was assassinated in 2001 by Al-Qaeda two days before the September 11 attacks — the National Resistance Front (NRF) remains defiant despite losing control of the Panjshir valley, the group’s spokesman said.

He spoke to AFP after the Taliban announced an interim government made up of loyalist hardliners.

“The narrative of a modern Taliban is over… there is no Taliban in favour of an inclusive government," Ali Maisam Nazary said.

“This is going to become a pariah government, an illegitimate government… just look at the amount of terrorists in this cabinet. And we expect they are going to reform?"

Nazary said the new government does not represent Afghanistan’s diverse ethnic mosaic.

All the top posts went to key leaders from the Taliban and the Haqqani network — the violent faction known for carrying out some of Afghanistan’s bloodiest bombings and suicide attacks in recent years.

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first published:September 10, 2021, 18:38 IST