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In August 1998 the Taliban captured the city of Mazar-i Sharif in Afghanistan. They began killing civilians and then started targeting male Hazaras. They went from house to house searching for and executing mostly Hazara men and boys. Women and girls were abducted and raped during the Taliban takeover and houses were looted. Governor Niazi made speeches threatening violence against the Hazaras for retaliation of the Taliban killings in 1997. He criticized the Hazaras for being Shi'a, then ordered them to become Sunnis, leave Afghanistan, or risk being killed. Thousands of Hazaras died.


In May 2000 and January 2001 the Taliban targeted the Hazaras again. In May 2000 the massacre by the Robatak pass killed 31 people. They are all previously detained for four months. Most of them were tortured before they were killed. In January 2001 the massacre took place in Yakaolang. About 300 males were detained then afterwards shot in public by a firing squad; around 170 of them were killed.


The Hazara are one of the most neglected minorities in Afghanistan. In this video from 2007 one lady mentions their struggles to survive because there are no jobs; without any income they don't have a proper home. One man said, "We spent every moment thinking the Taliban might kill us. But the Taliban came and killed selectively. This government is killing all of us slowly by starving us." They were left with no access to health care, running water, and proper roads.

YouTube - Al Jazeera

For years the Hazaras have been discriminated against. Many of the Hazaras have fled Afghanistan in search of a better life, but the ones who stayed still continue to face persecution. In November 2015 seven civilians were abducted and killed by Isil members, which led to protests against the violence towards Hazaras. In 2016 there have been reports of abductions and executions by Taliban fighters.

Al Jazeera

In 2016 there were more attacks on the Shia Hazaras. In July there was a bombing in Kabul which killed 85 people and left 400 wounded. In October a gunman killed 18 people and left 54 wounded at the Sakhi Shrine. The next day an improvised explosive device in the Balkh province killed another 15 people. ISIS claimed all three attacks.


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