AS REPORTED BY Ben Farmer in Kabul
Del Awar, aged seven, was taken at sunset and found hanging in an orchard at sunrise the following day.
Bruises and scratches around the young boy’s neck suggested his murder had been neither quick, nor easy, according to those who saw his slight body after it was cut down.
His death is widely believed to have been punishment for the stand taken by his family against the Taliban in their remote Helmand village.
Del Awar’s father, Abdul Qudoos, and grandfather, Abdel Satar, had grown tired of Taliban intimidation and the violence the militants attracted. So, the family had either demanded rebel fighters stop using village compounds to stage ambushes or had refused a demand from the Taliban of £400 for machine guns; so in retaliation the two men were denounced as spies for NATO or the U.S. and Del Awar’s cruel fate was sealed.
The Taliban has denied the killing, but the villagers know there is no doubt, as this is how the Taliban retains control of villagers, who are just trying to live and subsist; while the Taliban takes over their dwellings, takes their belongings, and kills their people.
Awar’s father, Abdul Qudoos, was a poor man who could not send his children to school and did not have a feud with anyone, explained Maulawi Shamsullah Sahrai, a 50-year-old elder from the village. Apparently Awar’s father was also killed, but the only information received or available on BLOGS because the mainstream media never reports this shit, is the sentence: “Some in the village have said the Taliban killed him for being a spy, others have said they were trying to frighten people.
“Some would rather blame it on ghosts because they are too afraid to speak about the death.”
This week a suicide bombing blamed on the Taliban which targeted a wedding party in Kandahar province apparently attended by members of a pro-Government militia, left more than 100 dead or wounded. British and American commanders believe Taliban control is little more than intimidation which makes up for insurgents’ weakness. But that’s a pretty weak description, as the hangings and murders of children is a pretty strong fucking intimidation technique. If these people really want to get out from under Taliban rule, they will have to be willing to die, and see family members die.
“Whether of not a town is under Taliban control is really up to the perception of the townsfolk,” said one American officer. “If they have a commander who is able to make threats or deliver letters at night, people can think they control the town.” In Heratiyan, where Abdul died this week, that is how the locals feel. “Heratiyan is totally under Taliban control,” said Maulawi Shamsullah Sahrai. “They can do whatever they like. They have total authority.”