State Department: US Will Explore All Options To Support Vulnerable Populations in Afghanistan

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Washington, DC – The United States will work with the international community to explore all options to support minorities in Afghanistan said the State Department.

The America Times (AT) reached out to the State Department today for comment on the increasing attacks against minorities in Afghanistan. In response, a State Department spokesperson told AT, “We understand that the Taliban have targeted certain populations and professions among Afghan civilians in the past and denied access to services for vulnerable populations. The United States will work vigorously with the international community to explore all options to support vulnerable populations in Afghanistan including – but not limited to—women, children, journalists, persons with disabilities, LGBTQI+ individuals, and members of the ethnic and religious minority groups.”

The United States also continues to call on the Taliban to protect freedom of movement for all Afghans and allow the departure of those who seek to leave Afghanistan, added the spokesperson.

Under the control of Afghanistan’s Interior Minister – Specially Designated Global Terrorist and Al Qaeda Leader Sirajuddin Haqqani, who has close ties to Pakistan’s military and intelligence – there has been an increase in attacks on minorities in Afghanistan. On October 8, at least 72 people were killed and more than 100 injured in a suicide bombing at a Shia mosque in the northeastern city of Kunduz during Friday prayers. The Islamic State in Khorasan Province, ISKP (ISIS-K) claimed responsibility for the attack. On October 5, militants entered a Sikh gurdwara in the Kart-e Parwan district of Kabul, tied up the security guards. and broke security cameras. The Taliban has been grabbing land from the Hazaras and forcibly expelling them from Daykundi province, Tagabdar valley, and Kabul.

Taliban fighters killed 13 ethnic Hazaras, including a 17-year-old girl, in Afghanistan’s Daykundi province after members of the security forces of the former government surrendered, per a new investigation by Amnesty International. Amnesty International has also documented how Taliban fighters killed nine ethnic Hazara men after taking control of Ghazni province.

“These cold-blooded executions are further proof that the Taliban are committing the same horrific abuses they were notorious for during their previous rule of Afghanistan,” said Agnès Callamard, Amnesty International’s Secretary General.

The actual number of targeted killings of Hazaras is likely to be much higher, but the suspension of cellular phone services in several regions has made it difficult to verify human rights violations committed by the Taliban.

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Poonam Sharma, Managing Editor, India America Today

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