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Taliban: Six thousand boys, girls killed in Afghanistan in two years – UN

Hundreds of boys and girls have been killed or injured over the past two years amid the deteriorating political and security situation in Afghanistan, says a UN report.

The report on Children and Armed Conflict issued on Monday, a day after the Taliban consolidated control over the country, found that 5,770 Afghan youngsters were killed or maimed between January 2019 and December 2020.

Meanwhile, the study stated that child casualties hit their highest levels ever during the first half of 2021.

Virginia Gamba, the UN secretary-general’s Special Representative for Children and Armed Conflict, said Afghanistan continued to be one of the most dangerous places to be a child.

“I am appalled by the continuing and rising high levels of violence endured by children in Afghanistan, including those caught up in combat,” stated Gamba. “As the already dramatic situation continues to evolve rapidly and concerning reports of human rights violations keep arising, I call for all abuses to stop.”

She further appealed, “I urge the Taliban and all other parties to abide by their obligations under international humanitarian law and international human rights law, as well as by national commitments and protect the lives and rights of all people, including those of women and girls.”

The research revealed that during the reporting period, one in three casualties was a child. Armed groups, particularly the Taliban, were responsible for most incidents, or 46 per cent, and the government forces accounting for 35 per cent, followed by landmines and explosive remnants of war.

“It is urgent that all parties take the necessary actions to minimize harm to children and prioritize their protection in the conduct of hostilities as well as protect schools and hospitals,” added Gamba. “With figures already alarmingly high and the Taliban identified in the report as a major perpetrator of violence against children, the future of children, especially girls in Afghanistan, is dark.”

The UN also verified more than 6,470 grave violations against children during the reporting period, with nearly half attributed to the Taliban.

According to Gamba, deliberate Taliban attacks on girls’ schools remain “a worrisome trend.”

 

(NAN)

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