An Afghan sniper who worked alongside British special forces in the war-torn country was hunted down by the Taliban on Monday — and executed in front of his family, according to a former UK Army colonel.
The victim, a father of five only identified as “N” to protect his surviving kin, was reportedly murdered after being one of the hundreds of Western allies left behind during a disastrous evacuation effort.
“He [had] been in hiding because of the threat he faced,” said British former Col. Ash Alexander-Cooper, who was once a senior adviser to the Afghan Ministry of Interior Affairs, to The Times of London.
“But they found him, and he was shot multiple times, executed in front of his family,” said Alexander-Cooper, who served eight tours in Afghanistan, including at least one alongside “N.”
The murdered sniper had been in a “very effective” elite Afghan squad — known as CF333 — that was “mentored by the British,” the former army officer said.
“N” tried to be evacuated from his homeland once the Taliban took power, fearing he would be targeted as a “collaborator,” but he was one of the hundreds left behind when US and UK troops left, the outlet said.
“It was entirely predictable this would happen for all of those left behind who were given no guidance,” Alexander-Cooper told the UK Times.
He said the murder proves that the Taliban’s declarations of an amnesty for those who worked against the Islamic fundamentalist group are merely a “fantasy.”
The UK paper said an interpreter who also failed to be evacuated after helping the British military was kidnapped by a 25-strong squad of Taliban troops and badly beaten.
The man, identified as Sharif Karimi, a 31-year-old married father of four, said he was then held for four days in a tiny cell with barely any oxygen.
He was eventually released because local elders intervened and his family managed to pay a $21,500 ransom, the report said.
The UK’s Ministry of Defence told the UK paper that the nation’s armed forces “were able to evacuate over 15,000 people from Kabul.
“Regrettably, we were not able to evacuate everyone in the limited time we had available,” the department said, insisting that its “commitment to Afghanistan and those who supported our mission there endures.
“We will continue to work with international partners to ensure they have safe passage out of Afghanistan,” the MoD added.