Jun 29, 2010 0
On a balmy summer’s day in the village of Hiratian in Afghanistan’s Helmand province, locals found the body of eight-year-old Dilawar hanging from a tree of a small fruit farm. Taliban fighters had accused the boy of spying for the American forces and had kidnapped him, strung him up and left his body to sway in the wind for hours for all to see.
The murder was horrifying, yet few villagers would come to the defense of anyone charged with spying for the hated foreign forces. But slowly, the details of the story emerged. The Taliban in the area were involved in a weeks-long campaign to collect donations — money, food or weapons — from the local population. They had demanded either a large sum of money or a weapon from Mullah Qudoos, the ill-fated boy’s father. Qudoos, poor and jobless, had neither. So the insurgents took his son as revenge and killed him as an example.