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Afghan who worked for French forces killed by Taliban

Afghan who worked for French forces killed by Taliban, say relatives
2 min read
A man in Afghanistan was reportedly shot to death by the Taliban for allegedly working with French forces.
The murdered man worked at a NATO warehouse used by the French military [Getty]

An Afghan who spent five years working at a French military warehouse near Kabul has been shot dead by the Taliban, relatives said Friday, as fears mount for thousands of locals at risk of reprisals from the insurgents.

The ongoing withdrawal of foreign troops has prompted a scramble for visas from Afghans who worked as guides, translators and in other roles for the US and NATO since the Taliban were overthrown in 2001.

On Friday the brother and uncle of Abdul Basir told AFP the 33-year-old father of five had been killed by the Taliban in Wardak on 19 June.

"He had been missing for two weeks when the Wardak police headquarters called us to inform us that he had been killed by the Taliban with two bullets in the stomach," said the brother, who asked not to be named.

"He was also suffering from bruises to his right eye and nose," he added, showing AFP photos of Basir's battered corpse.

Basir was employed at a NATO warehouse used by the French military until the departure of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) at the end of 2014.

His Parisian lawyer, William O'Rorke, told AFP that Basir had twice been rejected for a special visa granted to Afghans who worked for the military.

The Taliban, who have made huge gains across the country since the United States and NATO began the final phase of their troop withdrawal on May 1, have said Afghans who worked for foreign forces would not be punished if they "showed remorse".

But few Afghans trust the insurgents and at least one former interpreter was killed in October 2018 in Kabul.

"Basir's situation is comparable to dozens of others," said O'Rorke.

"For ten years we have witnessed a chain of cowardice. France wants to forget them, hoping that they disappear without making a fuss."