Video shows Taliban executing Afghan police commander with recoilless rifle

Warning: The video below is extremely graphic in nature. If you choose to watch this video, you will see the Taliban brutally execute a man with a heavy weapon, and then desecrate his corpse.

A videotape of the the Taliban brutally executing an Afghan police commander has been released on the Internet. The Taliban used a heavy weapon to kill the Afghan commander, and then desecrated the man’s remains.

The videotape, which was released on the LiveLeak website, is undated. According to the caption, the tape shows the Taliban executing “a police commander in Paktia province after kidnapping him.” A US military intelligence official told The Long War Journal that the description accompanying the video “is accurate.”

The video begins by showing a bound man standing in a field. The cameraman then pans to a large group of Taliban fighters standing along a road, with a 82mm recoilless rifle, a weapon designed to destroy armored vehicles, in the foreground. A Taliban fighter is seen sighting the weapon, then another fighter kneels and fires at the man, who then disappears in an explosion.

The Taliban fighters are then seen hugging and heard yelling “Allahu Akbar,” or ‘God is the greatest.’

The Taliban fighters then move to inspect the body. Fighters poke the mangled remains with a stick and throw rocks at the corpse. Scores of Taliban fighters are then seen walking away from the corpse and moving toward nearby Toyota pickup trucks and buildings.

Paktia province is a stronghold of the al Qaeda-linked Haqqani Network, a Taliban subgroup whose leadership is based in Pakistan’s tribal agency of North Waziristan. The Hizb-i-Islami Gulbuddin also has a strong presence in Paktia province.

The Taliban have released similar execution videos in the past. Most recently, in July, a videotape of the Taliban brutally executing Pakistani policemen appeared on the Internet. Sixteen policemen who were captured during a battle in the district of Dir were lined up and shot.

Bill Roggio is a Senior Fellow at the Foundation for Defense of Democracies and the Editor of FDD's Long War Journal.

Are you a dedicated reader of FDD's Long War Journal? Has our research benefitted you or your team over the years? Support our independent reporting and analysis today by considering a one-time or monthly donation. Thanks for reading! You can make a tax-deductible donation here.

Tags: , , , ,


  • Neonmeat says:

    A very sad and chilling video.
    Why would they choose to execute a man in this manner? It seems they enjoy the brutality.
    In a sick way it reminds me of a group of kids playing with fireworks and getting excited at the destruction they have created, if it wasn’t that this video is revoltingly violent and features the tragic death of man who would protect his country I would say their behaviour in the aftermath is in fact childish.
    Is there not one man there who would find this abhorrent, not a single person in this group who finds this descration and sheer savagery to be as disgusting as any sane rational person would.

  • jim1904 says:

    Too bad we did not have a drone overhead w/ a warthog to show them what it could do.

  • retribution epoch says:

    I really hope that the Afghan people will not be abandoned to fates like this by Western politicians who are terrified of losing votes;
    If the Afghan people feel that they will not be abandoned to the Taliban, they may very well rise up against them.

  • Gerald says:

    The drone strikes are working. If these sadistic illiterates are the best and brightest of the Taliban then their leadership has been gutted.

  • don owen says:

    I don’t believe that yelling “Allahu Akbar” is going to get you any closer to heaven or hell- even if you murder someone as these animals did. However, Karma is hell, all of these men will met a similar fate. For every American or noble Afgan (this man died a noble death- standing his ground and accepting the end) killed we will put twenty of these people in the ground. The Afgans need to accept this is total war, as we did against the Japanese WWII. No more attempts to capture an enemy like this- they must be eliminated when found.

  • Mr T says:

    Hey Guantanamo detractors, wheres the outrage? If we killed a prisoner, we would be crucified. Do you not hold the Taliban to the same standard?

  • Zeissa says:

    OK, I’m a cold person but…
    That I admit is truly cruel and unusual.
    They should be tracked down and killed.
    And where are the West’s PR capabilities. Stuff like this should be trumpeted.

  • Zeissa says:

    From their cheers it appears this was something of an ‘event’ to them. Very disgusting.

  • dr burke says:

    How hard can it be to a Toyota pickup truck? The same one used to attack our troops the other week?
    If they had disabled it, the man would still be alive, but they allowed it continue killing people. Either we are stupid or they are smarter. One little Toyota pick up and the drones can’t find it. It’s like we don’t care if the Taliban kill people helping us. We are indeed our own worst enemy.

  • Soccer says:

    It is interesting this took place in Paktia province, of all places.
    This will be used by the Pak army as “proof” that eastern Afghanistan, as they have always alleged, is home to large insurgent sanctuaries and safe havens.

  • Civy says:

    This should motivate the Afghan Police to fight. Better to die in battle than be made into a meat puppet for political fodder.

  • GW says:

    Savages. They obviously get off on killing.

  • mike says:

    The most disturbing part? that 30 adult males from the community not only are watching this tragedy, but apparently condone it as well.
    what can a batallion of NATO soldiers and a few brave local lawmen hope to acomplish in these gigantic provinces when the local population does not want the civilization/life we are trying to impose.
    as much as i hate to say it, the arrogance of the US/West – and naivety -that everyone wants universal human rights, respect for women, education, opportunity to advance, etc., because a bunch of our State officials ( both Dem and Rep)discuss it over tea with Afgan expats and “of course everyone wants these things…” is disturbing.
    what they fail to realize is every time we as a civilization believe ourselves to moved past tribal barbarism into a post-modern liberal order- 1848, League of Nations, UN etc – another power/idea rises up and it takes untold time blood and trasure to defeat it.
    knowing this – as any high school kid should – the fact that we continue to lie to ourselves is appaling

  • Shukri says:

    He is a traitor to his country according to them. Hence, not surprised.

  • Soccer says:

    If anyone is interested in monitoring Taliban Propaganda:
    Today, they claimed they destroyed NATO logistical vehicles in Wardak province. They used images from DAWN’s album set of OIL TANKERS being destroyed in QUETTA, PAKISTAN.
    DAWN Photo set:
    Taliban claiming they destroyed 21 “logistical vehicles”:
    Notice how the same image is used, and how they fail to see the difference between a logistical convoy, and a fuel tanker? They cannot get their story, or facts, straight.

  • ArneFufkin says:

    @Mr T: Brad Adams and Human Rights Watch are always reliably silent regarding Taliban murder and mayhem.

  • bruce says:

    Not only did I hear some one yell out in English “Oh my God”! but the man at 1:15 looks vaquely like an older Adam Gadahn. Not saying he would speak in English or that’s him but it is weird.

  • Robbie says:

    Watching this video clip was like going back in time and watching savage caveman doing their thing. I’m sure the leftwing loonies will be up in arms over the mistreatment of this poor prisoner right after they finish their 2nd mocha frappechino latte and update their facebook account.
    How can you expect to negotiate a peace settlement with ignorant, violent people with no morals? Even if you can negotiate a settlement, they won’t honor the terms of the settlement anyway. They will only understand defeat and surrender. You can’t fight a war with one or two hands tied behind your back. If you were uncertain about the true nature of the Taliban and Al Qaeda, this is pretty definitive evidence that they are the bad guys in this conflict.

  • RJFloyd says:

    My comment may sound dumb or naive or possibly both, but there has to be something up above that would detect a gaggle as large as this one appeared to be. Daylight, partly cloudy, and right off the freeway by Afpuke standards, and no one watching.

  • Riles says:

    I read some of the comments and i only have a few things to say.
    Neonmeat: these people have been brainwashed they watch things like this and are entirely desensitized to the entire ordeal so yes they probably do enjoy it.
    dr burke: As far as the truck goes there are so many of them it’s rediculous. Unlike in america the people don’t have licenses, plates or any of the other requirments that we have. There aren’t any camera’s on the road to find them, and that toyota is just one of a million. It’s not as easy to find these things as we would all hope if it was you could garentee more insurgents would be caught.
    RJFloyd: your right but unfortunately those devices can’t be everywhere at once.

  • Demetrius C. Minneapolis says:

    Aside from the psychological effect, I can never understand the desecration of the body After death. You eliminated the threat, move on to the next is my view. These Baconwraps enjoyed it way too much.
    Just amazing how so many serial killers converged in a certain part of the world at one time.
    @RJFLOYD – It is near impossible to scan an entire country with as many nooks and crannies as the Pak has. I know the movies make it seem possible, but try this. Go on Google earth and zoom in to an AGL of around 30,000ft. Now see how long it takes you to move 600 miles while watching for small items on the ground. Unless there’s evidence of something, you don’t know where to center on.

  • drexel says:

    @Mr T: Exactly right, selective outrage.

  • Those weren't bran muffins, Brainiac... says:

    The policeman was not “executed”. “Assassinated”, maybe. “Murdered”, certainly. But “executed” implies legitimacy in the Taliban actions that does not exist.

  • Infidel4LIFE says:

    Does this surprise anyone? Its par 4 the course..they need killin’. Yes indeed.

  • Luca says:

    @Bruce: I thought that guy at 1:15 strikingly resembled Gadahn too… who knows? yet light complexion is not uncommon among afghans, especially in the east.
    As for the Toyota Pick-up truck (usually white or tan) it is THE most ubiquitous vehicle throughout afpak – hardly a useful tip to track down insurgents and give ’em a taste of the brimstone they deserve.

  • Zeissa says:

    Infidel for Life: I’m not surprised at their doing this, just at them actually having the guts to record it and publish it online.

  • Mr. Wolf says:

    Mike, you are correct. The belief that the west knows what’s best has always been trouble. BUT, in the same logic, we do have satellites that can watch either earth or the heavens, we have set foot on the Moon, have robots searching Mars, can cure most infant health problems, and can understand and respect other people (i.e. not shoot or bribe outsiders). So maybe there is something to the western view of universal freedoms. Beyond that, this group of men were all brought here for this purpose. The heavy weapon is sighted by a couple of fighters, thus it might have been as simple as target practice, and to show off the new weapon. It may have been similar smuggling lines, or it might be the same commander, but this was to prove to the ground troops that the talib have a new weapon that can take down helicopters and police commanders. Big guns bring down the big guns.

  • ME says:

    I’m a bit disturbed by the fact that they could afford to expend such a round on a single person. I’d think that they’d ill afford such an extravagant method of execution.
    Perhaps they thought the shock value of such a video would be effective in striking fear into those who watched it. Or perhaps that was a high value official?
    Still, I hope this doesn’t indicate that their supply capabilities are reasonably good.

  • Monique Lune says:

    No words is enough to describe the cruelty
    of the human’s mind here. How can their god applaud this action. I hate Osama bin Laden; i am glad he can no longer kill anyone. I still do think it’s cruel to dig out an explode body and laugh about it.


Islamic state



Al shabaab

Boko Haram