Nearly 400 Civilians Killed Since Taliban Takeover of Afghanistan: UN

The United Nations on Monday said that some 400 Afghan civilians have been killed since the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan in August. Many of them were killed in attacks associated with the Islamic State (IS) extremist group.

The UN in its first report since the international troop withdrawal from Afghanistan has said that more than 80 percent of the civilians were killed at the hands of a group affiliated with IS.

“While the decline in hostilities has seen a sharp decrease in civilian casualties, the human rights situation for many Afghans is of profound concern,” the UN said in a statement.     

“From 15 August 2021 to 15 February 2022, UNAMA and OHCHR documented at least 1,153 civilian casualties, including 397 deaths. Several suicide and non-suicide attacks were perpetrated by IS against Shi’a Muslims, mostly from the Hazara ethnic group,” the statement added.

The UN also reported about more than 50 extra-judicial killings of individuals suspected to be linked to the IS extremist group, including cases of beheadings in Nangarhar province with bodies left in public places.  

The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Michelle Bachelet in a news release also talked about the Afghan women situation, where many of them are excluded from the Afghan workforce since the Taliban takeover. Bachelet called for the Afghan women’s “full participation” in public life.

Bachelet also reacted to the enforced disappearances conducted by Taliban as “disturbing.” In January, Human Rights Watch reported the Taliban secretly abducted and imprisoned Afghan women’s rights activists Tamana Paryani, Parwana Ibrahimkhel and more. Some of them were later released after immense pressure from the Afghans and international community.

“I will be urging the de facto authorities to recognize and respect Afghanistan’s State obligations to protect human rights as they implement their own approaches to measures of governance in the country,” the statement added.

“Education and empowerment of women and girls is fundamental to Afghanistan’s future peace and development,” the statement added. 

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