Hussain and Zakia lost their father in Mirza Olang Taliban attack. The militants took his father, grandfather and uncle and tied their hands in front of him. 

Hassan was so terrified after the incident. “He screams so loud and wakes up during the nights,” said Hassian’s mother, Marzia. She said: “Since then, he is even not able to go to the bathroom to pie alone in a bright daylight.” 

Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption Hussain (left) and Zakia lost their father when armed men attacked their village. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Hussain wakes up at night, screaming

Enayatullah Azad and Thale Jenssen|Published 12. Sep 2017
Afghanistan’s victims of war: In early August, armed men attacked the village of Mirza Olang in northern Afghanistan. Many were killed or taken captive. These are the stories of those who escaped.

Lost their father

Hussain and Zakia lost their father when an armed group attacked their village. The residents of the village say the attackers were Taliban.

“They took their father, grandfather and uncle,” says Hussain and Zakia’s mother, Marzia, 28. “They tied their hands together on their backs, right in front of the boys’ eyes.”

Hussain was terrified.

“He wakes up at night, screaming,” she says. “Now he won’t go to the bathroom alone, not even in broad daylight.”

Sayed Gul Hussain, 42, with her daughter Zakira, 12, and his relative, Ismail Alambai.

Gul’s wife and three children managed to escape from the village, but two of her daughters was abducted with 235 other women and children by Taliban militants.

Hussain who managed to escape from the entrance of the village to the mountains said that he had spent two nights without food or water. 

“My brother and I gave the children to women and tied them on back of our donkeys. When the militants blocked the village entrance, I managed to escape. My brother couldn’t leave his children. they took him and killed him later,” he said.

Now Gul Hussain, a farmer, has to take care of two families of twelve. Displaced from his farm and livelihoods, his prospects look bleak.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption Sayed Gul Hussain (centre), his twelve-year-old daughter Zakira and their relative Ismail Alambai managed to escape. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Escaped

“I managed to escape. My brother stayed behind, he couldn’t leave his children. They took him later and killed him,” says Sayed Gul Hussain, 42.

Together with his wife and three children, he managed to escape the village to the provincial capital of Sar-e-pul city.

The family lost their livelihood when they had to leave their farm. Now the future looks bleak.

Gul Hussian’s sister-in-law Adila, 37, and her four children was among 235 women and children that was abducted by the Taliban militants.

Adila and her husband, sayed hassan, tied the children on back of family donkey and tried to escape from the village, when the Taliban advanced further in the village. They walked in the dark for almost two hours.  But the armed militants cut off their route in the valley, stopping them from reaching safety in the provincial capital.

“When the armed [militants] blocked us, my husband stood by us. He didn’t leave. My brother-in-law escaped and requested him, but he couldn’t leave us.”
The Taliban militants took Adila’s husband and his 13-year-old son, Kumail. He left her son later and killed her husband.

“His hands were tied on the back. The Taliban was pushing him forward and he was turning his head back seeing us. Wish he escaped; he would be alive now,” Said Adila. And now, Adila has to take care of three son a daughter alone.

 “My father pledged Taliban commander to release me, he let me join women” said Adila’s son Kumail.

Kumail was terrified and can’t sleep properly now, said his mother.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption Gul Hussain’s sister-in-law, Adila, 37, and her four children managed to escape. Adila’s husband was killed when the armed group attacked the village. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Widowed

Gul Hussain’s sister-in-law, Adila, 37, and her husband put their children on the back of their donkeys and attempted to escape the village. They walked in the pitch dark of the night for two hours before they were stopped. The armed men took her husband and their 13-year-old son. The son was later released, but Adila’s husband was killed.

“They tied his hands together on his back and pushed him in front of them. He turned and looked at us. I wish he had escaped. Then he would be alive now."

Adila mother of four among the IDP women in Sar-e-pul Province.

Gul Hussian’s sister-in-law Adila, 37, and her four children was among 235 women and children that was abducted by the Taliban militants.

Adila and her husband, sayed hassan, tied the children on back of family donkey and tried to escape from the village, when the Taliban advanced further in the village. They walked in the dark for almost two hours.  But the armed militants cut off their route in the valley, stopping them from reaching safety in the provincial capital.

“When the armed [militants] blocked us, my husband stood by us. He didn’t leave. My brother-in-law escaped and requested him, but he couldn’t leave us.”
The Taliban militants took Adila’s husband and his 13-year-old son, Kumail. He left her son later and killed her husband.

“His hands were tied on the back. The Taliban was pushing him forward and he was turning his head back seeing us. Wish he escaped; he would be alive now,” Said Adila. And now, Adila has to take care of three son a daughter alone.

 “My father pledged Taliban commander to release me, he let me join women” said Adila’s son Kumail.

Kumail was terrified and can’t sleep properly now, said his mother.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption These women managed to escape, some after being held captive for three days. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Taken captive

The armed group took the women and children, and killed the men.

These women managed to escape to the provincial capital of Sar-e-pul city, some after being held captive for three days.

Ghulam Yahya, 72, among his grandchildren Hania, 6, on left and Ayatullah, 9, on the right hand in Chilangum, inside provincial capital of Sar-e-Pul city.

He was held captive and tortured by Taliban militants, but he was so lucky they didn’t kill him.

Malek yahya was among the village men that Taliban had separated them from women. They didn’t kill him, but tortured and interrogate him. “They didn’t kill me because I was Malek and had good relation with my neighbors and the Taliban knew me or because I was suffering from diabetes and my eyes have lost sight,” he said.

“They tortured me and were questioning me about the village men and weapon. They searched every houses and looted them. They took all animals and distributed the house assets among them.” 

Malek yahya was among 235 including women and children abducted by Taliban militants on August 4, and was released on 8 August 2017, but over 70 were summarily executed.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption Ghulam Yahya, 72, and his grandchildren Hania (left), 6, and Ayatullah, 9. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Tortured

Ghulam Yahya, 72, was taken prisoner and tortured by the armed group. He doesn’t know why they didn’t kill him.

He says they tortured him and interrogated him about the men of the village.

“They went in all the houses and looted them. They took our animals and shared what they found between them.”

Dordana, 47, and her sister-in-law, Marzia, 28, have left with thirteen children. All male family members even the seventeen-year-old Baqir were killed during the Mirza Olang attack on August 5. 

The armed militant group blocked the way while the family were fleeing from the village. The Taliban have separated the male family members and killed and took the women hostage. 

Dordana, her sister in law and the children fled after three nights being hostage in their homes in Mirza Olang village. 

NRC with support from ECHO have responded to the family with 28,000 AFS in order to cover the needs in terms of Shelter, fuel, electricity, health, and transportation.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption Dordana, 47, and her sister-in-law Marzia, 28, lost their husbands. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Couldn’t cry

"My daughter was so scared, she couldn’t cry,” says Dordana, 47. “She was shivering and staring at me.”

Together with her sister-in-law, Marzia, 28, she is now taking care of 13 children. Their husbands were killed.

Dordana, 47, and her sister-in-law, Marzia, 28, have left with thirteen children. All male family members even the seventeen-year-old Baqir were killed during the Mirza Olang attack on August 5. 

The armed militant group blocked the way while the family were fleeing from the village. The Taliban have separated the male family members and killed and took the women hostage. 

Dordana, her sister in law and the children fled after three nights being hostage in their homes in Mirza Olang village. 

NRC with support from ECHO have responded to the family with 28,000 AFS in order to cover the needs in terms of Shelter, fuel, electricity, health, and transportation.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption Dordana (left), 47, and Marzia, 28, managed to escape. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Lost everyone

“They took my husband, my brother, my brother-in-law, my 90-year-old father and my 17-year-old son. None of them have returned.”

After being held captive for three days, Dordana and Marzia escaped the armed group and arrived in the provincial capital of Sar-e-pul city.

Thousands of men, women, girls and boys have been forced to flee from their homes in Mirza Olang of Northern Sar-e-pul province after the Taliban militants in coordination with armed groups affiliated to ISIS jointly carried out an operation to capture the valley. 
With support from ECHO, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) provided basic assistance to 457 families displaced from the assault on Mirza Olang in provincial capital Sar-e-pul city.
Photo: NRC/Enayatullah Azad
Read caption In the provincial capital of Sar-e-pul city, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) supports thousands of displaced people. Photo: Enayatullah Azad/NRC

Supporting thousands

In the provincial capital of Sar-e-pul city, the Norwegian Refugee Council (NRC) supports thousands of displaced people.

In collaboration with the Directorate-General for European Civil Protection and Humanitarian Aid Operations (ECHO), NRC supports displaced families so that they are able to get shelter, fuel and electricity.