Hunted Hazaras travel ‘Death Road’ through Afghanistan651 views
KABUL: West of the Afghan city of Maidan Shahr is a 40-kilometre stretch of paved highway known as “Death Road”, where drivers say the country’s ethnic Hazara minority are slaughtered by militants “like sheep and cows”.
– Massacred, enslaved, exiled –
The protests which swept Kabul on November 11 appeared to catch authorities off guard and highlighted increasing fury at the Hazaras’ sense they have been left unprotected by the government.
The Persian-speaking ethnic group, estimated to account for some 10 percent of Afghanistan’s 30 million population, have long had a troubled relationship with the state.
They were massacred in large numbers, expelled from their lands and sold into slavery in the late 19th century under King Abdur Rahman Khan, says Sayed Askar Musavi, author of a book on the Hazaras.
In later decades they lived as low-class citizens working mostly as labourers and servants, Mousavi said.
Then, in the mid-1990s, came the Taliban’s brief rule of Afghanistan.
– The Zabul Seven –
The sense of insecurity has been inflamed by the macabre discovery of the beheaded corpses of a group of Hazara kidnap victims in the southern province of Zabul who have become known as the “Zabul Seven”.