Death squad

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A death squad is an armed military, police, insurgent, or terrorist squad that conducts extra-judicial killings, assassinations, and forced disappearances of persons as part of a war, insurgency or terror campaign. These killings are often conducted in ways meant to ensure the secrecy of the killers' identities, so as to avoid accountability.[1][2]

Death squads are often, but not exclusively, associated with the violent political repression under dictatorships, totalitarian states and similar regimes. They typically have the tacit or express support of the state, as a whole or in part (see state terrorism). Death squads may comprise a secret police force, paramilitary group or official government units with members drawn from the military or the police. They may also be organized as vigilante groups.

Extrajudicial killings are the illegal killing of leading political, trades union, dissidents, and social figures by either the state government, state authorities like the armed forces and police (as in Liberia under Charles G. Taylor), or criminal outfits such as the Italian Mafia.

Extrajudicial killings and death squads are most common in the Middle East (mostly in Palestinian territories and Iraq),[3][4][5][6][7] Central America,[8][9][10] Afghanistan, Bangladesh,[11] India and Indian-administered Jammu and Kashmir,[12][13][14][15][16][17] several nations or regions in Equatorial Africa,[18][19][20] Jamaica,[21][22][23] Kosovo,[21][22] many parts of South America,[24][25][26] Uzbekistan[citation needed], parts of Thailand[27][28] and in the Philippines.[28][29][30][31][32][33]

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