Three suspects in assassination of FEFA head confess to being Taliban

Three suspects arrested for the targeted assassination of Yousuf Rashid, CEO of Free and Fair Election Foundation of Afghanistan (FEFA), have confessed to being Taliban members, the ministry of interior said Monday.

According to the MoI, the suspects confessed they are members of a 50-member Taliban group called Muslimyar which operates in the Baraki Barak district of Logar province.

The MoI said the group had planned the assassination of Yousuf Rashin in Logar province.

Speaking after Saturday’s announcement of the arrests, First Vice President Amrullah Saleh stated “One of the assassins had pretended to be a classmate of Yousuf Khan’s son in order to [collect information] and implement their plan,”

Rashid was gunned down in December last year in PD7 of Kabul city.

The MoI told reporters Monday that “one of the masterminds of Rashid’s assassination, Zakaria, also known as Sulaiman, stated: ‘I am from Baraki Barak of Logar province. I joined the Taliban through Rahmatullah, a group’s leader, and then I came to Kabul. During four months I succeeded to find Yousuf Rashid’s house and reported it to the Muslimyar group. Days after, he was assassinated by the group’s members.”

According to the MoI, the Muslimyar group is involved in the assassinations of journalists and civil society activists.

“The Taliban are the main culprits in the recent attacks on journalists and civil society activists, and although the group denies its involvement in the assassinations, which is their new tactic, these men (the detainees) admitted that they are members of the Taliban,” said Tariq Arian, a spokesperson for the MoI.

The Taliban, however, told Ariana News that the group has nothing to do with Rashid’s assassinations and “the suspects are not members of the Taliban.”