Afghanistan: 1,000 civilians killed since Taliban takeover

Tuesday, 27 June 2023 (18:43 IST)
More than 1,000 Afghan civilians have been killed in bombings and other violence since the Taliban took over in 2021, according to the UN.
In a report released on Tuesday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said there were 3,774 civilian casualties, including 1,095 deaths in the country, between mid-August 2021 and May 2023.
Among the deceased were 92 women and 287 children.
The number of deaths has falledn sharply compared to the period before the Taliban seized power — more than 3,035 civilians were killed in 2020 alone, according to UN estimates.
UN voices concerns over 'lethality' of attacks
The new UN report noted that a majority of the deaths were caused by improvised explosive devices in "populated areas, including places of worship, schools and markets."
Even though the number of suicide attacks have gone down since the Taliban came to power, the UN report expressed concern over the "lethality" of the attacks.
Security challenges remain particularly high also because of consistent threats from the so-called "Islamic State" militant group. The UNAMA said the group was responsible for the majority of attacks in Afghanistan.
The report added that the violence had taken place while Afghanistan was gripped by a nationwide economic and financial crisis.
The report also said a sharp drop in donor funding since the Taliban takeover made it difficult for victims to access "medical, financial and psychological support." 
Taliban claims to prioritize safety
In response to the UN report, the Taliban-led Foreign Ministry said that "security has been ensured across the country" and that they consider the security of places of worship a priority.
The group added that they have carried out multiple raids against Islamic State cells and are focused on ensuring "timely action on uprooting the safe havens of the terrorists."
The UN agency holds the Taliban government responsible for the safety of the people.
The Taliban seized control of Afghanistan in August 2021 while NATO troops were in their final weeks of withdrawing from the country after two decades of war.
The Taliban leadership maintains that they took over while Afghanistan was on the "verge of collapse" and that they "managed to rescue the country and government from a crisis."
Despite initial promises of a moderate administration, the Taliban enforced harsh rules after assuming control. Girls are no longer permitted to study after the sixth grade, and Afghan women are barred from public life and most work.

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