DARQAD, Af. – An American man who shot and killed nine members of the Taliban and wounded more than a dozen others in the Darqad District of Afghanistan’s Takhar Province last week, pledged allegiance to the United States before opening fire, a tribal leader who witnessed the attack told the Khaama Press.
The American, who is still at large, is thought to be a member of a United States Special Forces team that tribal leaders believe is responsible for similar attacks and general unrest in the area. “Some villagers overheard the man shouting ‘God bless America’ shortly before he gunned down the soldiers,” said a village elder who asked to remain anonymous over fear of retaliation from the Americans.
The elder said that at the time of the shooting, the Taliban soldiers had been drinking tea and socializing with friends. Many of those killed left behind families including wives and young children, many of whom are now orphans. “It’s very sad,” said Adeeb Qadir, a farmer who sells produce in the village. “The children will soon die from starvation,” he added.
While tragic, the killings are commonplace in villages and towns all throughout Afghanistan. “There is no justice here,” said Adeeb, who in 2009 lost twelve of his family members, including his six children, when American jets bombed a police station across the street from his home. “They kill us because they mistake us for the Saudis who hijacked their airplanes,” Adeeb explained, referring to the Americans.
The United States officially withdrew the last of its combat forces from Afghanistan in 2014, putting an end to a thirteen year occupation that left more than 26,000 civilians dead and thousands more injured. Despite having declared an end to the war, the Americans still maintain a small force of Special Operations troops inside Afghanistan.