The Taliban have taken the bodies of 15 Afghan militaries as hostage including Farah Provincial council Chief and deputy head of 207th Zafar Military Corps, following the helicopter incident in western Farah province, officials said Sunday.
Zakaria Mirza Zada, a commander of Afghan army said that efforts are underway to recover the bodies of chopper victims with the mediation of tribal elders.
Mirza Zada said the Taliban have handed over each body of civilians in exchange of 500,000 Afghanis. “Now the people of Afghanistan and religious Ulema should judge this, whether selling dead bodies is allowed in any religion,” he said.
Earlier, Taliban in a statement said that they have the bodies. The armed group said they will not hand over the bodies to the families or officials until the Afghan government hands over the body of the gunman who killed Kandahar police chief General Abdul Raziq last month.
The commander, meanwhile, said that the helicopter was overloaded and that it was the main reason behind the incident. He said apart from having 27 people on board, the chopper was carrying five bodies of military forces and election materials as well as some other heavy equipment.
“What you will do with the dead bodies? How long you will keep it? they are no longer alive, what are you doing? you think you are Muslim? And this is your humanity?,” Abdul Khaliq Amini, a family member of the victims said, referring to the Taliban.
The helicopter crashed about a week ago in Anar Dara district of Farah province. According to officials, at least 27 people were on board at the time of the crash including Farah provincial council members and Zafar Military Corps officials.