The Taliban is believed responsible for the beheading of two Afghan boys in Kandahar, reports the state. The boys allegedly were searching for food near police headquarters when they were abducted and brutally murdered. The Taliban has denied all responsibility for the murders.
The 10-year-old victim was known to be very poor and often accepted food from police to take home to his family. His body was the first to be found on Monday, and news immediately broke of the brutal killing. Then, later on in the day, the body of a 16-year-old boy was also found.
"The boys were taken away by the Taliban afterwards and beheaded in a horrific way," a press release from the Kandahar governor's spokesman read.
"Both of them were innocent children and had nothing to do with government or foreigners," Jamal Agha, chief of the Zhari district told Reuters.
It's possible that the Taliban believed the boys were working with police, since they were scavenging for food near police headquarters. However, the Taliban has denied having any part in the abduction and murders.
Dr. Toryalay Wessa, Kandahar's governor, issued a call to find those responsible for the murders "with whatever causalities it takes and at whatever price," the International Business Times reported.
"There will be no specific reaction to this case except the order of the governor of Kandahar, who has commanded all the security forces to find and kill those responsible for this horrific act," reporter Mustafa Kazemi told the IBTimes. "Except this reaction, there has not been a single reaction or condemning of this horrific action by the government authorities."
Even though the Taliban has denied all responsibility for the crimes, the organization has a long history of reportedly beheading insurgents. Last year, the group was accused of beheading 17 civilians for allegedly attending a mixed-gender party.
That same month, the bodies of a 7-year-old girl and 12-year-old boy were also found beheaded. Authorities believe their deaths were meant to be warnings to police.