Taliban Raze Homes in Central Afghan Town after Battles
The Taliban militia are systematically destroying houses in a central Afghan town after capturing it from an opposition faction this week, resistance sources said Wednesday.
Anti-Taliban troops in the hills around Yakawlang town, Bamiyan province, said they could see smoke rising from dozens of mostly deserted homes as troops of the ruling militia set them alight.
"We have some hilltop posts and we can see inside Yakawlang and its outskirts. We can see the smoke of burning houses," Ahmad Bahram, a spokesman for the locally-based Hezb-e-Wahdat opposition faction, told AFP.
"People who go to their fields around the town to water their crops at night have also witnessed the houses burning."
Taliban troops captured Yakawlang in the west of Bamiyan province on Sunday after heavy fighting with the Hezb-e-Wahdat, a minority Shiite faction of the opposition Northern Alliance.
The area is part of the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan, home to the ethnic Shiite Hazara minority which is despised by the Sunni dominated Taliban.
Bahram said most of the town's estimated 60,000 people had already fled into the surrounding hills before the Taliban arrived on the weekend -- ISLAMABAD (AFP)
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