Hero interpreter who worked with British forces is slain by Taliban
Hero Afghan interpreter who worked with British forces on the frontline is slain by the Taliban who boasted that he ‘died like a dog’
- Feda Mohammad, 42, was shot several times at point blank range in Afghanistan
- Taliban supporters say he was killed for working with ‘occupying infidel forces’
- He is the second translator to be killed in the past week and the third this year
A former Afghan translator who worked with British forces on the frontline has been assassinated by the Taliban, who boasted that he had ‘died like a dog’.
Feda Mohammad, 42, was shot several times at point blank range after reportedly driving into an ambush in an area known for attacks by insurgents.
His devastated family said yesterday that he had been killed by gunmen in a ‘revenge attack’ because he had worked for Nato forces against the Taliban.
His brother Wali said Mr Mohammad had received repeated death threats and had died in a ‘targeted killing’ near the border with Pakistan in Afghanistan’s eastern Paktia province as he went to work at a training facility for police cadets.
He said Taliban gunmen had been waiting for the opportunity to kill the former English teacher and had struck at the entrance to the city of Gardez, the provincial capital.
Feda Mohammad, 42, was shot several times at point blank range in a ‘revenge attack,’ because he had worked for Nato forces against the Taliban
After the murder, Taliban supporters posted a picture of Mr Mohammad claiming he had died ‘like a dog’, a particularly derogatory description in Afghan culture.
It also warned that he had been killed because he had worked as an interpreter for the ‘occupying infidel forces’ and had helped in the training of forces that worked for the ‘infidel’.
Mr Mohammad is the second translator to be shot dead in the past week and the third this year in what interpreters believe is a stepping-up in targeted killings of those who worked for foreign forces.
Translators with UK forces who worked alongside Mr Mohammad in Helmand province and at an RAF base in the city of Kandahar said he had not been entitled to apply to the British authorities for sanctuary under any of the relocation schemes because he had not worked directly for them, but with them through a private company on behalf of Nato forces.
This newspaper’s award-winning Betrayal of the Brave campaign has repeatedly highlighted death threats and attacks on translators and their families, which have increased as an emboldened Taliban have gained greater control and influence across the country.
Under pressure from the campaign and military veterans, the Government has introduced policies opening the way for hundreds of translators and their families to apply for relocation in the UK.
But interpreters under threat warn that the process is too limited and too slow.
They called on the Government to speed up relocations, pointing out that under changes announced six months ago no one has yet arrived in the UK.
One of the two other Taliban victims over the last week was a former translator for the US military called Mangal, who was shot dead on the street near his home in the Afghan capital Kabul.
Mr Mohammad is the second translator to be shot dead in the past week and the third this year in what interpreters believe is a stepping-up in targeted killings of those who worked for foreign forces. File picture of British Army forces in Afghanistan’s Helmand province in 2007
It followed the shooting of another interpreter, Noor, who worked for Nato forces in a village near the border with Pakistan.
His brother had also been killed by insurgents. Colonel Simon Diggins, former military attache at the British embassy in Kabul, who campaigns for translators, said the murder was part of a ‘campaign to assassinate former interpreters’.
Former Major General Charlie Herbert, who was senior Nato adviser to the Afghan National Police in 2017 and 2018, said: ‘There is no doubt that all former employees of the UK are in grave danger – the Taliban have repeatedly made threats against them, on social media and often directly.
‘The targeted murder of Feda was dreadful proof of this, and evidence of the reach that the Taliban have against former interpreters.’
He added: ‘We really must do more to help the remainder – they played a huge part in supporting the Army in Helmand and we owe it to them, morally and ethically.’
Earlier this week another translator survived an attack in Kabul and a second former interpreter who worked for UK forces discovered a mine outside his front door.
Another interpreter, Najeeb, who worked for UK forces and has been told he does not qualify to come to the UK, said: ‘Feda reported death threats to the authorities. He feared this would happen.’
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