"they massacred the Hazaras"

The Blue Mosque in Mazar-i Sharif
Creative Commons AttributionThe Blue Mosque in Mazar-i Sharif - Credit: Steve Evans
On August 8, 1998, the Taliban captured the city of Mazar-i Sharif in northwest Afghanistan.  Previously, the city was controlled by the United Front, a coalition opposed to the Taliban.  Immediately, the Talib conquerors began shooting civilians in large numbers throughout the city.  Witnesses described a "killing frenzy".  Hundreds of civilians were killed.  In the following days, the Taliban carried out house-to-house searches for male Hazaras, Uzbeks and Tajiks, who were then executed.  The massacre was a retaliation for the deaths of 3,000 Taliban soldiers the previous year during an unsuccessful earlier attempt to capture the city.

Mazar-i Sharif was the first city captured by the Northern Alliance with US military support in 2001.

Human Rights Watch Report