The Taliban has sinned against God and man. The terrorist group kidnapped Friday a team of medical volunteers from the West that provided care to poor villagers in Afghanistan. The medics were taken to a forest, lined them up, and shot to death. They comprised six Americans, a German and a Briton. The victims pleaded for the lives in vain by saying they were medical workers. The Taliban has shown its brutality to the world once again.
Among the victims was American optometrist Tom Little, who had worked in Afghanistan since 1977. Over the period of the former Soviet Unions invasion of the Central Asian country and Taliban rule, he dedicated himself to serving the Afghan people, who lacked access to modern medical treatment. Little went to the northern mountain region three weeks ago to administer eye care to impoverished villagers before he was killed. International Assistance Mission, the group the medics worked for, said in a statement, We hope the tragic incident does not hamper our activities helping the Afghan people. It is ironic that such humanitarianism and brutal terrorism exist in the same place.
The Taliban saved the Afghan driver of the team, who is Muslim, showing the chauvinism of Islamic fundamentalists. Islam is supposed to be a peaceful religion but the Talibans extreme hate and murder of foreigners violates the Koran. If peace, love and generosity are Islamic teachings, Muslims must denounce the Talibans terrorism.
The world should denounce this criminal act and punish those responsible. A civilized society should never forgive crimes against humanity. A combined 1,325 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan this year, 68 percent of whom perished at the hands of the Taliban. In Cambodia, the Extraordinary Chambers in the Courts of Cambodia sentenced Kaing Guek Eav to 35 years in prison as punishment for the Khmer Rouge turning Cambodia into a killing field. Eav ordered the detention, torture and killing of at least 14,000 people. So tracking down the Taliban criminals and punishing them must be done no matter long it takes.
The dead medics were found 200 kilometers from Charikar, the capital of the Afghan province of Parwan, where a Korean reconstruction team is located. The Korean military should thus maintain a sharp watch to protect this team.