A Sydney man visiting family in Afghanistan was pulled off a bus and murdered by Taliban militants just because he was Australian, local authorities say.
The ABC is reporting that Sayed Habib Musawi, 56, who came to Australia from Afghanistan by boat in 2000, was killed while travelling on a bus to Kabul after visiting relatives in Ghazni province.
He was the only person pulled off the bus by Taliban militants on September 20. His beaten body was found on the side of the road, the report said.
Ghazni’s deputy governor, Mohammad Ali Ahmadi, told the ABC’s AM program that Mr Musawi, who held an Australian passport, was killed because he was an Australian citizen.
“Of course the reason is that he was an Afghan-Australian,” he said.
“He didn’t do anything besides that – he didn’t do anything wrong, he wasn’t a criminal, he wasn’t involved in government activities.
“The reason of his murder was very clear – that he was a dual citizen, he came from a country that Taliban think is an infidel country.
“When the Taliban arrested him, he said to them, ‘I came from Australia to see my family.’ And then the Taliban… issued an order for his murder.”
Mr Ahmadi said Mr Musawi’s hands were tied behind his back and there were signs of beating.
“The bullet wounds were clearly visible on his dead body. The murderers beat and tortured him. People in the area contacted us, so we ordered the district security chief to investigate.
“After an investigation it became clear that the dead body belongs to Sayed Habib, an Afghan Australian who came to visit his family.”
One of Mr Musawi’s four children, his 23-year-old son Nemat, said the shocked family was trying to find out what happened.
“The whole family is devastated. We can’t believe it. I just spoke to my dad a week-and-a-half ago and he was with family members and he said he was going to call me back.
“I was waiting for his call and then the next thing I hear he’s been shot dead by Taliban three times.”
“It seems like it was all set up, because they just stopped the bus on the way to Ghazni and then they just went straight to my dad … called him and pulled him out of the bus,” he said.
“What my family is going through, I don’t want any other family to go through. We want justice for us, for my mum, for my family.”
The Musawi family have asked for assistance from the Australian Government.
In a statement to the ABC, the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade said the Australian embassy in Kabul was trying to confirm reports of the death.
“The area where these events reportedly occurred is contested by the Taliban and it will be difficult to obtain definitive and official confirmation of the man’s death from the Afghanistan Government,” the statement said.
“Consular officials are providing assistance to the man’s family.”