Taliban fighters executed nearly two dozen soldiers of Afghan special forces in the middle of a town market as they tried to surrender, a shocking new video shows. The Afghan soldiers had reportedly run out of ammunitions and were unarmed but the Taliban fighters instead shot them dead in what is being seen as one of the most brutal acts in recent times.
The video obtained by CNN shows Afghan soldiers coming out from a building in a public square with their arms in the air as some men wielding guns screamed, "surrender, commandos, surrender." Soon, gunfire shots rang out as cries of "Allahu Akhbar" are heard.
The incident happened in the town of Dawlat Abad in Faryab province near the Afghanistan border with Turkmenistan on June 16. However, the video emerged only on Tuesday. At least 22 Afghan soldiers were killed in this act of brutality.
The chilling video shows Taliban fighters shouting: "Allahu Akhbar" â "God is great," amid gunfire as they shoot down the Afghan soldiers in cold blood. "The commandos were surrounded by the Taliban. Then they brought them into the middle of the street and shot them all," the witness told CNN.
According to other witnesses in the town, the Afghan forces had entered with several tanks, but ran out of ammunition after about two hours of fierce fighting with the Taliban. However, when they tried to surrender they were executed in the middle of the town.
However, the Taliban has denied carrying out the execution to CNN, saying the videos are fake and they still have the captured soldiers from Faryab province. They called it propaganda of government so that people do not surrender.
Despite Taliban's denial that it didn't carry out the mass murder, the Red Cross and the Afghan Ministry of Defense have confirmed the 22 deaths. The defense ministry denied that the members were in detention and said they have been killed.
The video of the brutal incident has since gone viral. Another witness watched the scene play out from a small hole in the wall of his shop.
"I was so scared when the Taliban started shooting the commandos. On that day everyone was scared. I was hiding in my shop," the person said.
The special forces troops "were not fighting. They all put their hands up and surrendered, and (the Taliban) were just shooting," he said, adding that the Taliban fighters may have been foreign.
Following the firing, bodies of the Afghan soldiers can be seen strewn across an outdoor market in the video. A voice speaking off camera in the video can be heard: "Take everything off them."
Another says: "Open his body armor." A Taliban militant can be seen on the video removing equipment from the body of one of the commandos.
A few days following the incident, Taliban posted a video of military trucks and weapons they seized after the fighting in Dawlat Abad on June 16.
The chilling video emerges even as the Taliban continue to make significant territorial gains in Afghanistan with at least 212 districts in their control, according to an assessment by the Foundation for Defense of Democracies' Long War. The Afghan government controls 70 districts while 116 remain contested.
Although Joe Biden set September 11 as the deadline for the United States' exit from the country, a vast majority of troops have already left. The video has sparked concerns over human rights violations in Afghanistan as the United States pull out their troops from that country after nearly 20 years of war, raising questions by members of opposition in the United States about this sudden rush.