A new video released by the Taliban today shows masked fighters executing some 15 to 18 people identified as Pakistani police officers captured in a cross-border raid in June. The graphic video, which got the attention of major media outlets when it went up on LiveLeak.com, includes a speech by one Taliban fighter who calls the officers "the enemies of Allah's religion." The Taliban fighters opened fire with machine guns on the police officers, who are lined up on a hillside, their hands bound. According to Al Jazeera, the video comes from June 1, when heavy fighting racked the Upper Dir province of Pakistan.
Mir Qasim Khan, police chief for Upper Dir district, put the number of victims in the video at 18, saying they were policemen and paramilitary police captured on June 1.
"It was a pre-dawn attack and that's why most of them are not wearing uniform," he said.
The Taliban was not reachable for comment on Monday.
Another police official said at the time that 500 fighters, including Afghan and Pakistani Taliban, took part in the attack, which began before dawn on June 1 and continued throughout the next day.
The video marks one of the latest in a series of atrocities alleged on both sides of the fight between Taliban militants and the Pakistani government. As The Guardian notes, "the footage underscores the ruthlessness of fighting in Pakistan's border areas, where the army has also faced allegations of massacres. Last year a separate video showed uniformed men clinically executing six suspected militants, reportedly in Swat."