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More Children Dying in Afghanistan War, Says UN, with Death Toll Up 15 Percent

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(Last Updated On: October 19, 2016)

afghani-boy-taliban-attack-489707937The number of children killed and injured in Afghanistan’s war has increased in the first nine months of the year, 2016, compared to the previous year, said U.N. Assistance mission in a new report released Wednesday.

UN mission said it has documented 2,461 casualties among children in 2016 — 639 deaths and 1,822 wounded.

The statistic shows a 15 percent increase comparing to the last year, January-September 2015.

The mission voiced concern over the continuing increase in child casualties, which have risen every year since 2013.

Between Jan. 1 and Sept. 30, UNAMA documented 8,397 conflict-related civilian casualties with 2,562 deaths and 5,835 wounded. That represents a 1 percent decrease, compared to the same period in 2015, said the mission.

Suicide bombings and other attacks, including improvised explosive devices are the main reasons of civilian causalities.

“Increased fighting in densely populated areas makes it imperative for parties to take immediate steps to ensure all feasible precautions are being taken to spare civilians from harm,” the report quoted Tadamichi Yamamoto, the U.N. chief’s special representative for Afghanistan.

Casualties caused by pro-government forces rose 42 percent compared to last year, with 623 deaths and 1,274 injured, U.N. investigators reported.

That includes a spike of 72 percent in casualties from air strikes by the Afghan air force and its international allies.

At least 133 people were killed and 159 were injured in air strikes, with two-thirds of those casualties attributed to the Afghan air force, the U.N. said.

The deadliest areas for civilians are in the traditional Taliban heartland in the south, including Uruzgan, the deeply impoverished, mountainous province that claimed most of the 41 Australian Defense Force personnel who perished during Australia’s combat mission in Afghanistan.

The U.N. report also documented numerous conflict-related incidents targeting health-care and educational facilities, as well as those providing humanitarian aid.

In terms of deaths and injuries, 2013 was the worst year of the war for Afghan women and children, with most of the casualties caused by either stepping on or driving over roadside bombs or getting caught in fighting.

But the deadliest year of the war were 2011 and 2016, when 3,133 civilians died as the Taliban launched a fierce pushback with roadside bombs and other attacks against the increased number of international forces who wrested back much of the territory controlled by the insurgents and in 2016 the bloody year for civilians when they marched in a protest for transferring power from central areas of the country.

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US ready to lift many sanctions but Iran says it wants more

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(Last Updated On: May 8, 2021)

The United States has expressed its readiness to lift many of its sanctions on Iran at the Vienna nuclear talks but Tehran is demanding more, top Iranian negotiator Abbas Araqchi told state media on Friday.

“The information transferred to us from the U.S. side is that they are also serious on returning to the nuclear deal and they have so far declared their readiness to lift a great part of their sanctions,” Araqchi told state TV.

“But this is not adequate from our point of view and therefore the discussions will continue until we get to all our demands,” Araqchi said as indirect talks were scheduled to resume on Friday in the Austrian capital.

In Washington, U.S. President Joe Biden said he believed Iran was seriously engaging in the talks but it was unclear what Tehran was actually prepared to do for both sides to resume compliance with the 2015 Iran nuclear deal.

Asked at the White House if he thought Tehran was serious about talks, Biden replied: “Yes, but how serious, and what they are prepared to do is a different story. But we’re still talking.”

U.S. officials have returned to Vienna for a fourth round of indirect talks with Iran on how to resume compliance with the deal, which former President Donald Trump abandoned in 2018, prompting Iran to begin violating its terms about a year later.

The crux of the agreement was that Iran committed to rein in its nuclear program to make it harder to obtain the fissile material for a nuclear weapon in return for relief from U.S., EU and U.N. sanctions.

Tehran denies having nuclear weapons ambitions.

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30 killed in three back-to-back explosions at Kabul school

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(Last Updated On: May 8, 2021)

Three consecutive explosions targeted students at a public school in PD13, in Dasht-e-Barchi, in Kabul city on Saturday evening killing at least 30 people.

According to the sources, an explosive-loaded vehicle detonated in front of the Sayeed-ul-Shuhada High School at around 4:30 pm. This explosion was followed by two suicide bombings while frantic students were running from the school compound immediately after the first explosion.

The Interior Ministry stated that at least 30 people – including students – were killed and 52 others wounded in the explosions.

Sources, meanwhile, stated that as many as 40 people have been killed and around 100 others injured in the incident.

So far no group including the Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Taliban issued a statement soon after the explosion and denied any involvement in the attack.

The group said: “We condemn blasts in the Dasht-e-Barchi area of Kabul that were carried out against civilians; unfortunately, the blasts left too many casualties.”

The Taliban blamed the terrorist group Daesh (IS-K) for the attack.

Meanwhile, the attack has been widely condemned by the Afghan leaders and the international community.

The UN Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has expressed “its deep revulsion at today’s blasts in Dasht-i-Barchi Kabul. An atrocity. Many civilians were killed and injured. Our heartfelt condolences are with the victim’s families and we wish a speedy recovery to those hurt.”

The European Union in Afghanistan also condemned today’s explosion stating “the horrendous attack in Dasht-i Barchi area in Kabul, is a despicable act of terrorism. Targeting primarily students in a girls’ school makes this an attack on the future of Afghanistan.”

President Ashraf Ghani has condemned the bombing in Kabul, said it was a “barbaric act”. He said the Taliban have shown they are not only reluctant to resolve the current crisis peacefully and fundamentally. He said: “They sabotage peace.”

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13 killed, 35 wounded in Kabul blast

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(Last Updated On: May 8, 2021)

A heavy explosion rattled the Dasht-e-Barchi area in Kabul city on Saturday afternoon, sources said.

The Ministry of Interior (MoI) stated that a blast happened close to Sayeed-ul-Shuhada School in PD13 of Kabul city at around 4:27 pm Saturday.

At least 13 people were killed and 35 others wounded in the blast, sources said.

Sources, however, stated that three blasts happened in the area. The cause of the blasts yet to be determined.

Pictures published on social media show that a number of civilians have been killed in the blasts.

Meanwhile, Ariana News correspondent stated people with private vehicles are rushing victims to the hospitals instead of waiting for an ambulance.

According to the sources, most of the victims and wounded people are students.

Immediately no group has claimed responsibility for the attacks.

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