Mohammad Ashraf Ghani, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, chaired this morning an extraordinary meeting of the National Security Council to thoroughly review the recent incident involving beheading of civilians in Zabul province.
In today’s National Security Council and yesterday’s extraordinary security meetings, the President once again offered his deep condolences and sympathies to the families of the martyrs of this tragic incident and called this a witnessed crime against humanity. In addition, the President assigned a delegation composed of the second vice President Mohammad Sarwar Danish, Chief Executive’s second deputy Mohammad Mohaqiq, Borders and Tribal Affairs Minister Mohammad Gulab Mangal, and Transport and Aviation Minister Mohammadullah Battash to travel to Ghazni province, convey the President’s condolences and take part in the burial ceremony.
The measures taken by the government to free our countrymen during their captivity were also reviewed and studied in these meetings. These measures, which were implemented in three phases, are as follows:
- The government’s intelligence and security measures for identification of the perpetrators indicate that the abductors are mainly non-local terrorists and pursue destructive goals including creating fear, division and discord.
- Following counseling and consultations with the country’s political and popular leader, the solution involving people’s mediation was also discussed. President Ghani, on the basis of security information he had at his disposal, issued the order to the security officials that the Special Forces conduct a military operation. Since the 4th of Hut 1393, these forces have conducted two extensive operations to free our citizens; as a result of the first operation, more than 90 terrorists were eliminated but unfortunately they had already transferred our abducted countrymen from the site. The second operation was carried out with the support of international forces (Resolute Mission); intelligence and security operations have ongoing to track and free the citizens this year.
- Following increasing military pressure on this terrorist group, our National Directorate of Security forces managed in an operation to free 19 of our countrymen. In an operation today, the National Directorate of Security was also able to free 8 of our countrymen, including two women, one teenager and five men, from the captivity of the abductors.
The President and members of the National Security Council closely and continuously follow the progress of the operations to free our citizens.
The President also directed the relevant officials to evaluate based on the principle of reward and punishment the performance of the personnel who have been involved in the operation to free the abductees. Meanwhile, the President ordered the security agencies to take all the necessary measures to identify, detain and take to Justice the perpetrators of this crime. Moreover, the President ordered the security and defense authorities of the country to take strict security measures on the highways of the country in order to prevent recurrence of such incidents and protect the lives of our countrymen.
Also, President Ghani and Chief Executive Dr. Abdullah Abdullah commiserated with the families of the victims and people of Ghazni province through phone contact with members of the provincial council and people’s council of Ghazni province.