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Notícias Internacionais / 29/07/2021


Afghanistan's second largest city suffers the Taliban advance

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Afghanistan's second largest city suffers the Taliban advance

In a scenario of execution of civilians in the conflict between national forces and extremists, fleeing is the only way out for many families

Fear is part of the routine of the residents of Kandahar, in southern Afghanistan. With 650,000 inhabitants, the country's second-largest city is increasingly dangerous as the Taliban advances and infiltrates the region. This is what detailed a report by the Qatari agency Al Jazeera.

“It is very risky for people to send their children to school. You only leave the house to go to the market if absolutely necessary. And yet, many of the stores are closed. Life has stopped,” says 21-year-old Kawsar Sama, who decided to move his family to the capital Kabul.

With 650,000 residents and thousands of Afghans displaced and forced to flee to safer places, Kandahar is plunged into chaos (Photo: Wikimedia Commons)

For the jihadist group, on a growing offensive since May, taking full control of a city of hundreds of thousands of people before the final withdrawal of US-led foreign forces would be a major victory. But for the people of Kandahar, it feels like a nightmare.

Navid Amini, 23, has lived in Kandahar since he was born, but says he has never seen anything like what has happened in the province in recent weeks: "There is war all over the city."

summary executions

Last week, the NGO Human Rights Watch (HRW) released a report accusing the Taliban of rounding up and summarily executing people they say worked for the Afghan government and security forces.

The HRW report came shortly after the UN (United Nations) issued a warning to all parties to the conflict that it is "tracking the many allegations of harm to civilians" in the province.

The Taliban says it "categorically rejects" the allegations, which it called "propaganda". The group also issued a statement saying it challenges humanitarian organizations, international organizations and the press to visit the Spin Boldak district and prove and when someone was killed.

However, there are reports of civilian disappearances. Indian photojournalist Danish Siddiqui was killed on the 16th in crossfire while recording a clash between Afghan security forces and the Taliban in Spin Boldak. The government blamed the Taliban.

victims tripled

In recent weeks, crossfire has become one of the leading causes of death in the province.

“Both the Taliban and the government kill people. Whether by mistake or on purpose, they killed people,” Amini said, contextualizing the reasons for thousands of people to flee their homes. According to an article by the AFP agency, combatants are now living in abandoned houses.

A recent UN report tripled the number of civilian casualties due to the use of improvised explosive devices. According to the United Nations, in the first half of 2021, 501 civilians were killed in this way, with a further 1,457 injured.

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