Taliban skin man alive in Afghanistan in potential Daesh copycat attack
The Taliban gain ground in Afghanistan as militants adopt new tactics. (AFP/File)
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The Taliban cut out a man's eyes, skinned him alive and then threw him from a 10-storey cliff in an Daesh-style murder. The incident happened in Ghor, Afghanistan, to 21-year-old labourer Fazl Ahmad.
Militants reportedly accused one of Ahmad's distant relatives of killing an ex-Taliban commander in December last year. They allegedly punished Ahmad instead and took him out of his home and cut his eyes out.
Member of parliament in the area Ruqiya Naeel said Ahmad was still screaming as he was 'skinned alive'. He told the Washington Post that his attackers carved skin off his chest and left his heart exposed.
The barbarity of the killing is similar to those which Daesh have carried out in Syria and Iraq, however the Taliban have denied any involvement.
Meanwhile. Afghanistan hailed Washington's decision to expand the US military's authority to tackle a resurgent Taliban insurgency, saying the support will boost the capacity of struggling local forces.
The decision will allow US troops, who have been in a training and advisory role in Afghanistan since the start of 2015, to collaborate more closely with local forces in striking the Taliban.
'We welcome the US announcement of broader involvement in the war on terrorism in Afghanistan,' defence ministry spokesman Daulat Waziri said.
'We may not need more boots on the ground, but we need their advisors and we need them to equip our air force. Their involvement will increase our capacity in operations on the ground.'
The US announcement comes after Afghan forces, beset by record casualties, desertions and troop shortages, suffered a string of setbacks last year at the hands of the Taliban.
The decision would expand the military's authority to conduct air strikes against the Taliban when necessary, significantly boosting Afghan forces who currently have limited close air-support capacities.
By Anthony Joseph