OK, so I've just avoided doing any work since writing my blog earlier today, about the reported presence of some outlawed men in mountains of Afghanistan, fighting the Taliban on Snowboards... So I've been poking around on the web and found this account of how this came to be. Take a read and let me know if you heard anything different, if you know who the men are, or where any more information is. In particular, I really want to know what the names of the brothers are and who the little boy may be?
It's a bit loosely written and factually questionable, but certainly makes some interesting reading.
"A couple of months ago, some whispers were heard around the military bases located in the northern areas of Afghanistan that some lone soldiers had scored a number of significant “hits” on Al Qaeda militants in the mountainous regions, north east of the Taliban stronghold of Asadabad, on the Pakistan border. We did some considerable digging and after many hours piecing together elements of the story, accounts from local villagers, rumours from the nearby US army bases, even chatter on the Taliban radios, we were able to give what we think may have resulted in such a compelling story of extreme bravery born out of desperation and a will to simply survive.
This type of story in itself is not remarkable; there are numerous accounts of such acts taking place in the likes of Afghanistan, Iraq and Pakistan. What is intriguing about these silent assassins is their modus operandi. Rumour had it that a small container shipment was travelling by road from China to Uzbekistan. En route, the consignment was hijacked and the goods, largely winter sports equipment headed for the former CIS state, were distributed amongst the local folk in the northern Afghanistan villages.
Among those to benefit from the misfortune of a few sporting goods companies, were 3 Afghan brothers who are now said to live in a small makeshift camp, fashioned from a network of caves, high in the mountains bordering Pakistan and close to the 76km of border with China. Sick of the torment and anguish they had endured through years of poverty and oppression from Taliban forces, the pain of losing family members, their wives and children being tortured, raped and starved, missiles and RPG’s raining down on their homes and seeing friends killed and maimed by improvised explosive devices, they fled their small community near Jalalabad, after a minor fracas with some Taliban soldiers made them marked men, and headed North.
Ahmed, returning from his job herding cattle for a local farmer, came across a small child stumbling aimlessly along the dusty road about ¾ of a mile from his home. With matted hair and torn clothes, it became clear to Ahmed that the child had suffered severe injuries and bruising, and was struggling to keep hold of something which looked disproportionately large and heavy for such a small person, in such a condition, to be carrying. Ahmed dropped his bags and ran to assist the small boy, taking the load from his arms and setting the boy down by the side of the road.
Looking down into his arms, Ahmed turned over the mass of fur and as he did, the head of a small dog dropped back, its eyes open and fixed, its tongue hanging lifeless from its mouth. As the boy looked up at Ahmed and then down to his beloved pet dog, he began to sob uncontrollably.
It was at this point, according to some local villagers who weren’t overly keen to give their statement, that 3 known Taliban soldiers rounded the corner, laughing and shouting. They had their AK47’s perched on their shoulders and seemed oblivious to Ahmed’s presence as they made straight for the small boy and dog. There was some exchange between the soldiers and then they shouted something at the boy, who just carried on crying.
This seemed to make the soldiers angry and one of them prodded at the boy with the butt of his gun. The boy didn’t even flinch, for it seemed he had endured much worse abuse than this. Ahmed, however, could not stand to see any of this and what he felt sure was to be the inevitable outcome; the small boy ending up in his arms, much like the dog. Whether it was pure reflex, pure anger or most likely, a mixture of both, Ahmed grabbed the gun from one of the soldiers’ hands. Taken by surprise, the soldier couldn’t respond in time and before they knew it, Ahmed had rounded and pointed the gun in the faces of the Taliban men.
The boy looked up and immediately stopped crying. Ahmed took his arm and brought the boy behind him to shield him from the now agitated soldiers. Ahmed gestured to the remaining two armed men to release their weapons and discard them to the floor. They understood and did as requested. Now Ahmed was left with a dilemma – he really hadn’t thought beyond grabbing the weapon and rescuing the boy. He could shoot them between the eyes there and then, take the boy and make his escape. But no matter how much he wanted end these evil monsters lives and secure their safety, he could not do it. So, what to do.
Ahmed noticed an old truck coming around the bend ahead, so thinking quickly he decided upon his exit strategy. 6 blasts, one to each leg and the men were writhing in agony on the dusty road.
Grabbing the boy, Ahmed made for the truck and his escape, according to local villagers, who by this time had made their way out into the village road and were gathering around the wounded soldiers. He and the boy were never seen again.
Rumour has it that Ahmed went home and quickly rounded up his two brothers. They had arrived home only a few moments earlier, and were making busy stuffing a load of the loot they had come across into the pit, covered with sheeps wool and straw. When they saw the look on Ahmed’s face, they knew something serious was going on, and immediately thought that the Taliban had discovered that they had been involved in the hijack of the container shipment and had not paid the local warlord their taxes.
Ahmed did not have time to explain, other than that they would have to leave the village and make their way as outlaws into the mountains. Not wanting to question their older brother, the two men grabbed their new gear, thinking they could sell it and raise money for food on the way, along with a few of the bare essentials that they owned, which really wasn’t much. As they left the hut, the brothers met the small boy Ahmed had rescued, waiting for them outside. Now they were confused, but seeing the continued frantic look on Ahmed’s face, did not question, but followed their brother and the small boy with their gear and headed for the mountains in the truck they had stolen to escape the Taliban soldiers.
And so they began a new life on the run from soldiers, outlawed from the village where they grew up and destined to spend the rest of their lives in hiding…"
If you've heard anything, know anything or want to suggest any theories on this, please leave comments....