KANDAHAR: AFGHANISTAN: Abdul Khaliq was a poor farmer from the Panjwayi district of Kandahar province. On February 6th, 2009, an international organization gave him free wheat seeds, fertilizers, and cement parcels so that he could make a living without having to grow opium poppies.
That same morning, Abdul rented two trucks, with drivers and helpers, to transport these goods from Kandahar city to his village in Panjwayi.
While en route, a group of Taliban ambushed the trucks. The fact that the trucks were carrying “infidel products” was enough for the Taliban to murder everyone on the spot without conducting any further investigation. Along with Abdul, the Taliban killed the two truck drivers and their two helpers. Their bullet-riddled bodies were found in a small side road not far from the site of the attack.
I knew Abdul because he was a relative of a friend of mine. As soon as I heard what had happened I went to Abdul’s house.
His body was covered with a cloth, and laid out in the courtyard of the family’s house to allow relatives and friends to take a last look at him. When I saw him I could not believe my eyes. It looked like the Taliban had emptied three magazines of AK-47 in his body. How can human beings do something like this? How can they go so far away from humanity?
Abdul’s brother was yelling and screaming in front of the body while his relatives tried to calm him down. I could hear crying and wailing coming from the women’s quarters. The 7-year-old son of Abdul was also there.
In that house full of misery and desperation I became deeply upset and fell into my thoughts. As a civilian living in Kandahar I know about these things. It doesn’t matter whether it’s the United States or the Taliban doing the shooting. Those who get killed are always civilians. I remember thinking to myself: today the Taliban killed Abdul in cold blood; tomorrow perhaps the American soldiers will do the same to someone else.