The Taliban's Valley Of Death

Afghanstan Muslims CBS

Under the earth of remote central Afghanistan lies possible proof of Taliban war crimes.

In exculsive footage obtained by CBS News, villagers are seen digging up the victims of the Yakaolang massacres.

"They took my father out of our home," Sayid Azizullah said. "They said they would kill him."

They did. Like the others, he was found shot earlier this year, his hands tied behind his back. The Taliban even made an example of some victims by removing the flesh from their skulls.

Human rights officials say Taliban commanders carried out at least 14 systematic massacres since 1997 – all part of a brutal campaign to expand their territory.

"There may be an opportunity now, as conditions are changing in Afghanistan, to actually go forward, and arrest and indict these individuals," said human rights analyst Patricia Gossman.

Hazara tribesmen have been targeted again and again. They are Shia Muslims, an interpretation of Islam considered blasphemous by the Taliban.

Thousands of their homes have been torched, as have their markets and their schools.

A Hazara imam's mosque was burnt to the ground. The Taliban even torched Islam's holiest book, the Koran, witnesses said, which is a blasphemous act for Muslims of any kind.

This is the enemy U.S. forces face; its strength is its ruthlessness. As one Shia survivor put it, "You will understand what they are when they come over your borders and attack you."

Muslims are shedding the blood of other Muslims, a tribesman sang. The people of Yakaolang want the killers brought to account.

©MMI, CBS Worldwide Inc. All Rights Reserved


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