28 March 2001
AI Index ASA 11/007/2001 – News Service Nr. 56
Afghanistan: Massacre in Yakaolang
Amnesty International today issued a report on January’s massacre of over 300 unarmed men and a
number of civilian women and children by Taleban forces in Yakaolang, in Bamiyan province.
According to eyewitness accounts, Taleban forces began to arrest and execute Hazara
people over several days after recapturing Yakaolang district from Hezb-e Wahdat armed forces
on 7 January.
Eyewitnesses also reported the deliberate killing of dozens of civilians hiding in a mosque.
One person said: “Some people in Kata Khana ran to the mosque thinking the Taleban would
respect the sanctity of the mosque, but they were wrong.” They said they saw Taleban soldiers fire
rockets at the mosque where some 73 women, children and elderly men had taken shelter. No one
was allowed access to the mosque for three days and only two young children survived.
Taleban leader Mullah Mohammad Omar has denied the massacres took place and banned
journalists from visiting the district.
Witnesses also told Amnesty International that Hezb-e Wahdat forces carried out at least
four summary executions during the several days they were in control of Yakaolang in late
For a copy of the report please contact Amnesty International’s press office on +44 207 413 5729
For more information please call Amnesty International’s press office in London, UK, on +44 20 7413
Amnesty International, 1 Easton St., London WC1X 0DW web : http://www.amnesty.org