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Al Jazeera: Ghor province is one of poorest provinces in the country.

A group of armed men shot and killed some 30 civilians in Ghor province of central region of Afghanistan after having taken them hostage, said UN on Tuesday.

The armed men shot and killed the civilians in the Ghalmin area of Firozokh, the provincial capital of Ghor province in central region of Afghanistan on the evening of Tuesday October 25 after having taken them hostage the same day while they collected firewood in the Kasi area which is outskirt of the provincial capital, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

According to the Afghan officials in Ghor province, the armed men killed the hostages in revenge of their death commander during fighting with NDS (National directorate Security) and local people over sheep.

Reuters Quoted, “Afghan police killed a Daesh (Islamic State) commander in Ghor province during an operation yesterday but Daesh fighters abducted some 30 civilians from near the provincial capital and shot them all dead in revenge,” the governor spokesman Khatibi said on Wednesday.

Local reports and the government estimate victim number varied. Local people saying it was more than 40 but the government estimates about 30 civilians were shot to death. Amnesty International, meanwhile, said children have been among of the deaths.

Amnesty International’s South Asia Director Champa Patel said “The abduction and killing of nearly 30 civilians, including children, is a horrendous crime. There can be no justification whatsoever for targeting and killing civilians under any circumstances.”

Although the Afghan government blamed Islamic state fighters for the killing in the central region of Afghanistan, the Islamic state didn’t confirm the killing yet. Taliban insurgents, meanwhile, denied any hands and condemned the killing.

Ghor province in central region of Afghanistan remains one of the poorest provinces in the country. The government struggle with huge transport problems due to geographically limitations, many illegal armed groups, drug trafficking groups and huge poverty.

Meanwhile, the UNAMA called the killing ‘atrocity’. “I am outraged by these senseless and brutal killings,” said Pernille Kardel, the Deputy Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Acting head of UNAMA. “This is an atrocity and the perpetrators must be held accountable.”

While local people gathered in Ghor province as bodies were prepared for burial demanding security and protection from the central government, President Ashraf Ghani condemned the killing and vowed to avenge the blood.

“Such atrocities add to their criminal record every day and one day they will be held accountable as war criminals before the court of law and people of Afghanistan.” said Presidential statement.

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