Three brothers have been beheaded in restive eastern Afghanistan, officials said Monday, blaming the gruesome executions on Daesh group fighters.
The men aged 19, 24 and 27 were taken from their home and killed by Daesh on Sunday night in Chaparhar district in Nangarhar province, provincial governor spokesman Ataullah Khogyani told AFP.
Nangarhar, on the porous border with Pakistan, is a stronghold for Daesh militants.
The eldest brother Nisar Tareliwal, 27, was a doctor at a private clinic, the middle brother Nayeem, 24, was working as a vaccine campaigner and the youngest Abdul Wahab, 19, was a medical student.
Khogyani said the father of the victims was a doctor beheaded last year by Daesh, which has acquired a reputation for brutality in the province, beheading prisoners on a number of occasions.
"Their bodies were found in Chaparhar district where they lived," said the spokesman.
Provincial police spokesman Hazrat Hussain Mashreqiwal confirmed the brutal murders and said an investigation had been launched.
"They were taken out of their house by armed men and their beheaded bodies were found by villagers near their house," Mashreqiwal told AFP.
In a separate incident Daesh kidnapped 11 farmers in Rodat district of Nangarhar province, although they later released two of them.
There was no claim by Daesh about the two incidents.
Lal Mohammed Durrani, deputy chairman of the provincial council in Nangarhar, said the abduction took place when the farmers were working in poppy fields.
The process to harvest poppy crop has kicked off in provinces across Afghanistan, the world's top opium producer.
Last year the U.N. Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) said output of opium made from poppy seeds in Afghanistan, the world's main source of heroin, stood at around 9,000 metric tons.
The illicit drug has fueled insecurity, violence and insurgency in Afghanistan for several decades.
Daesh first emerged in Afghanistan in 2014 as NATO combat troops withdrew from the country and handed over responsibility to Afghan security forces.
Despite being far smaller than the Taliban, Daesh has claimed responsibility for devastating attacks in Kabul and elsewhere in the country.
On Sunday, Daesh claimed a suicide attack in a large crowd outside a voter registration center in Kabul that killed 57 people and wounded more than 100.
Some Western and Afghan officials believe Daesh has received help from the Haqqani Network, a brutal wing of the Taliban.
Following an intense air and ground campaign by Afghan and U.S. forces in Nangarhar, Daesh spread beyond its stronghold to the northern province of Jowzjan where it has also come under pressure.
Earlier this month top Daesh commander in northern Afghanistan Qari Hikmatullah was killed in an airstrike.