Over a 1,000 killed in violence since the Taliban’s return, UN report

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has in a report, released on Tuesday, has said that thousands of civilians across the country have been killed and wounded since the Taliban’s return to power.

The report states that 3,774 men, women and children have been killed and injured between August 2021 and the end of May 2023.

Three quarters of the deaths were caused by indiscriminate attacks in populated areas, including places of worship, schools, and markets, particularly targeted religious minorities.

“The leading causes of civilian harm during this period were deliberate IED attacks (2,814 civilian casualties), explosive remnants of war (639 civilian casualties), and targeted killings (148 civilian casualties).” The report said.

Deliberate and systematic attacks on religious minorities, including Shia, Sufi, and Sikh places of worship, religious gatherings, and other social anomalies, had a significant impact. The report found that Shia places of worship accounted for over half of the civilian casualties resulting from attacks on all places of worship.

The Hazara community remained particularly at risk of targeted attacks in schools, educational facilities, crowded streets, and on public transportation, according to UNAMA.

The report has documented at least 345 (95 killed, 250 wounded) casualties as a result of attacks targeting Hazaras during the period.

The report acknowledges a reduction in violence since the Taliban takeover, but says that levels of civilian harm from deliberate IED attacks remain significant. It also raises concerns about the increase in suicide attacks.

UNAMA calls on the Taliban to uphold its obligations under international law to protect civilians.

“The de facto authorities of Afghanistan hold the primary responsibility to respect and ensure the rights of all individuals within their territory or jurisdiction to go about their daily lives in safety and without fear of attack.”