The Islamic Emirate (Afghan Taliban) deny killing 13 passengers travelling on a bus in Wardak province in central Afghanistan. The bus was on its way to the southern city of Kandahar when the incident occurred. Reuters news agency stated, “it is the third time unknown gunmen have targeted bus passengers over the past month.”
Ataullah Khogyani, the spokesman for the Wardak provincial governor, told AFP a group of gunmen opened fire on a bus around 1:00 am (2030 GMT Monday), killing 13 people including one woman.
An English speaking Twitter account affiliated to the Islamic Emirate stated.
“Z.Mujahid in statement condemns & denies any links to attack on bus in Haft Asyab area of Sayedabad (Wardak) which killed 13 civilians”
“Z.Mujahid calls attack work of intelligence agencies, states investigation launched & vows to punish culprits if/when apprehended”
It was also stated that the account of Islamic Emirate spokesperson Zabihullah Mujahid, “was suspended for unknown reasons” though a new account is now up and running.
It wouldn’t be the first time Islamic Emirate have been accused of incidents they have strongly denied. When an overseas Taliban office was due to be opened in Qatar in June 2013, reports appeared alleging poisoning of schoolgirls. Zabihullah Mujahid told the BBC at that time that, “the Taliban denied their involvement in the attacks, saying they “strongly condemn” such actions, vowing to punish those behind them.”
Carol Anne Grayson is an independent writer/researcher on global health/human rights and is Executive Producer of the Oscar nominated, Incident in New Baghdad. She is a Registered Mental Nurse with a Masters in Gender Culture and Development. Carol was awarded the ESRC, Michael Young Prize for Research 2009, and the COTT ‘Action = Life’ Human Rights Award’ for “upholding truth and justice”. She is also a survivor of US “collateral damage”.