Shi’ite Villagers Rebury Victims After Afghan Police Discover Mass Graves

Many of Those Slain in Taliban Offensive Were Beheaded

The bloody aftermath of this month’s Taliban attack on the Shi’ite-dominated village of Mirza Olang, in northern Sar-e Pul Province, has seen villagers reburying dozens of additional victims of the attack, as Afghan police discovered that many were disposed of by the attackers in mass graves.

The mass graves contained 36 people, all men, and all but three adults over the age of 15. Police say they believe a handful were resisting, but that most were civilians, adding that many of the slain were beheaded.

Locals aren’t ruling out that more mass graves may be found, adding to the 62 people already confirmed killed in the course of the Taliban’s rampage, as a number of civilian hostages were never accounted for, and could well have been executed by now.

The Taliban denied killing any civilians in the attack, and also denied any ISIS involvement. ISIS, however, issued their own statement claiming to have killed 54 Shi’ites in the village. Locals claimed both sides had fighters there, which would be unusual as the Taliban don’t generally cooperate with ISIS, and ISIS doesn’t generally operate in this province at all.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is Senior Editor for He has 20 years of experience in foreign policy research and his work has appeared in The American Conservative, Responsible Statecraft, Forbes, Toronto Star, Minneapolis Star-Tribune, Providence Journal, Washington Times, and the Detroit Free Press.