3,119. 11/25/2001

"After a mass killing of hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Taliban prisoners of war by the forces of an American-backed warlord during the 2001 invasion of Afghanistan, Bush administration officials repeatedly discouraged efforts to investigate the episode, according to government officials and human rights organizations. …The killings occurred in late November 2001… Thousands of Taliban fighters surrendered to General [Abdul Rashid] Dostum’s forces, which were part of the American-backed Northern Alliance, in the city of Kunduz. …Survivors and witnesses told The New York Times and Newsweek in 2002 that over a three-day period, Taliban prisoners were stuffed into closed metal shipping containers and given no food or water; many suffocated while being trucked to the prison. Other prisoners were killed when guards shot into the containers. The bodies were said to have been buried in a mass grave in Dasht-i-Leili, a stretch of desert just outside Shibarghan. A recently declassified 2002 State Department intelligence report states that one source, whose identity is redacted, concluded that about 1,500 Taliban prisoners died. Estimates from other witnesses or human rights groups range from several hundred to several thousand. The report also says that several Afghan witnesses were later tortured or killed." [The 25th of the month used for date sorting purposes only.]

 – James Risen, “U.S. Inaction Seen After Taliban P.O.W.���s Died,” The New York Times, July 10, 2009,

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