UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File Photo)
UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres (File Photo)

High-profile attacks by anti-govt elements occurred across Afghanistan prior to Taliban takeover: UN report

ANI | Updated: Sep 08, 2021 23:02 IST

New York [US], September 8 (ANI): A new United Nations report on Wednesday revealed that high-profile attacks by anti-government elements occurred across Afghanistan prior to the Taliban takeover of major cities.
Last month, the Taliban captured the capital city of Kabul after several weeks of the lightning offensive which saw the quick fall of the US-trained Afghan army.
This revelation about the high-profile attacks was made in a report released by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres on the situation in Afghanistan. "Between 16 May and 31 July, 18 suicide attacks were documented, compared with 11 in the prior period, including 16 suicide vehicle-borne improvised explosive devices primarily targeting Afghan National Defence and Security Forces positions," the UN report stated.
In addition, there were 68 attacks using magnetic improvised explosive devices, including 14 in Kabul. "Targeted and usually unclaimed assassinations occurred countrywide, with victims including, among others, the Policy and Planning Director of the Ministry of Urban Development and Land, killed in Kabul on 30 May; the deputy of the Ulema Shura, killed in Herat on 3 June; an appeals court provincial prosecutor and a pro-government religious scholar, killed in Logar on 7 and 12 June."

Moreover, attacks claimed by or attributed to Islamic State in Iraq and the Levant Khorasan (ISIL-K) increased. Between 16 May and 18 August, the United Nations recorded 88 attacks, compared with 15 during the same period in 2020. The movement targeted civilians in urban areas using asymmetric tactics.
According to the UN report, prior to the Taliban's capture of Kabul, the Government had adopted a number of measures to counter Taliban advances, without success. "These included a reconfiguration of security responsibilities at the local level with delegations to corps commanders, the announced reestablishment of the recently disbanded Afghan Local Police, and the merging of special operations and special air operations forces."
Furthermore, a series of personnel changes had also been implemented, including replacements of provincial chiefs of police in 23 provinces since 1 May, as well as several provincial heads of the National Directorate of Security and provincial Afghan National Army commanders.
On the ongoing situation in Afghanistan, the UN chief Guterres said that the world is following events in Afghanistan with a heavy heart and deep disquiet about what lies ahead. "Scenes of chaos, unrest, uncertainty and fear have caused alarm, as well as trepidation for what lies in the balance in terms of the hope, progress and the dreams of a generation of young Afghan women and girls, boys and men."
He further called for an immediate end to violence; for the safety, security and rights of all Afghans to be respected; and for adherence to the international obligations of Afghanistan, including all international agreements to which it is a party. (ANI)