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Kabul: Taliban militants have beheaded an Afghan interpreter while he was travelling from Afghanistan's capital, Kabul, to nearby Khost province, days after he confided in his friend that he was receiving death threats from the extremist group, according to media reports.
The incident happened on May 12, when Sohail Pardis, 32, was driving to Khost province to pick up his sister for the upcoming Eid holiday celebrations to mark the end of Ramadan, said a CNN report.
He was travelling through a stretch of desert where Taliban fighters blocked his vehicle at a checkpoint.
According to the report, Pardis had told his friend that the Taliban had found that he had worked as a translator for the United States Army for 16 months during the 20-year-long conflict.
"They were telling him you are a spy for the Americans, you are the eyes of the Americans and you are infidel, and we will kill you and your family," his friend and co-worker Abdulhaq Ayoubi was quoted as saying by CNN.
"Pardis tried to escape the militants by accelerating his vehicle, but they shot his car before it swerved and stopped. They then dragged Pardis out of the vehicle and beheaded him," the CNN report stated, citing the villagers who witnessed the brutal murder.
The report said Pardis was one of the thousands of militants who worked for the US forces and are now living under the fear of persecution.
In June, Taliban had issued a statement in June that it wouldn't harm those who worked for US forces.
The report added that despite the assurances such people say they are now under Taliban's threat after the US withdrawal from Afghanistan. Taliban spokesperson told CNN that they were attempting to verify the details of Pardis's murder.
"We can't breathe here. The Taliban have no mercy on us," Ayoubi was quoted as saying by CNN.
Nearly 18,000 Afghan interpreters have applied for a Special Immigrant Visa program that would allow them to go to the United States.
Earlier this month, Reuters had reported that the United States will evacuate Afghan interpreters who helped the US-led forces during the conflict and are considered to be at risk as Taliban fighters continue to capture newer territories in Afghanistan.
The evacuation will begin in the last week of July under operation Allies Refuge, White House had said.
In a briefing, White House spokeswoman Jen Psaki said the US wants to "recognise and value the role these courageous individuals have played over the last several years".
Reuters had reported citing an official on conditions of anonymity that the initial evacuation will include about 2,500 people who will be either housed in military facilities in the US or in a third country while their visa applications are processed.
They will be alloted visa under the special immigrant visa program given to those individuals who worked with the US government or the America-led military force during the Afghanistan war that began in 2001.
As the Taliban is making rapid advancements, the Afghan translators face a bigger threat of retaliation than ever. Taliban fighters have already seized the border crossings of Iran Tajikistan Turkmenistan and yesterday Pakistan.
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