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Afghan security forces at the Torkham border point. Photo: Stringer/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

The U.S. Embassy in Kabul accused Taliban fighters on Monday of carrying out "revenge killings" against dozens of civilians in Spin Boldak, a border district captured in a military offensive last month.

Why it matters: Reports of violence and human rights atrocities are growing ahead of the U.S. military's full withdrawal from Afghanistan. Officials have warned that the country could descend into a chaotic civil war as the Taliban continues to seize more territory on the battlefield each week.

What they're saying: "In Spin Boldak, Kandahar, the Taliban massacred dozens of civilians in revenge killings. These murders could constitute war crimes; they must be investigated & those Taliban fighters or commanders responsible held accountable," the U.S. Embassy in Kabul tweeted, calling for an immediate ceasefire.

  • "The Taliban's leadership must be held responsible for the crimes of their fighters. If you cannot control your fighters now, you have no business in governance later," the embassy added.

Details: Afghan security forces attempted to recapture the Spin Boldak district in the days after it fell to the Taliban on July 14, according to a report by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

  • The military operation was welcomed by some local residents, who ran out of their homes to greet the Afghan soldiers. The operation ultimately failed, however, and the Taliban conducted a sweep of the villages to identify government supporters.
  • At least 40 civilians were then expelled from their homes and killed by the Taliban, according to the report, which also accused Taliban fighters of looting property.
  • "[T]his and other similar incidents show that contrary to what they proclaim, the group has no practical commitment to the principles of international human rights and humanitarian law," the AIHRC said in a statement.

Go deeper: U.S. expands Afghan refugee program as Taliban violence escalates

Go deeper

18 hours ago - World

UN Security Council extends Afghan mission by six months

UN Secretary-General António Guterres attends a press conference on Afghanistan in Geneva on Sept. 13, 2021. Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP via Getty Images

The United Nations Security Council on Friday authorized a six-month extension of the UN's political mission in Afghanistan.

Why it matters: The move will allow Secretary-General António Guterres to compile the necessary information to determine "strategic and operational recommendations" in light of the Taliban's takeover.

"Justice for J6" rally underway with large police presence

Police officers watch as demonstrators gather for the "Justice for J6" rally in Washington, D.C., on Sept. 18, 2021. Photo: Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP via Getty Images

A few hundred demonstrators were met by a heavy law enforcement presence on Saturday at the "Justice for J6" rally outside the fenced-off U.S. Capitol, AP reports.

The latest: U.S. Capitol Police officers at approximately 12:40 p.m. arrested a man with a knife for a weapons violation, the agency wrote in a tweet.

DHS to increase deportation flights to Haiti from Del Rio

Migrants walk across the Rio Grande River carrying supplies back to a makeshift encampment under the international bridge between Del Rio, Texas, and Acuña, Mexico. Officials are struggling to provide food, water, shelter and sanitation, forcing migrants to cross the Rio Grande several times per day for basic necessities. Photo: Jordan Vonderhaar via Getty Images

The Department of Homeland Security on Saturday announced plans to ramp up deportation flights to Haiti out of the small Texas border town Del Rio, starting as soon as Sunday.

Why it matters: Reports have emerged of more than 10,000 migrants, primarily from Haiti, crowded in a temporary camp under the international bridge in Del Rio. Hoping to find refuge in the United States, they've had to bear with filthy conditions and the scorching sun for days, per an NBC News affiliate.