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The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan registered 12 acts of violence targeting health care workers between March 11 and May 23 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, eight of them were attributed to the Taliban.
The week from June 15 to 21 was the deadliest since 2001 Tuesday according to Javid Faisal, Afghanistan's national security spokesman.
“The Taliban carried out 422 attacks in 32 (of the 34) provinces, killing 291 ANDSF (Afghan National Defense and Security Forces) members and wounding 550 others,” Faisal said as the figures mark the highest number of casualties suffered by the security forces in a week since the country’s 2001 US invasion.
The government spokesman added that during last week 42 civilians were also killed and over 100 others injured.
The announcement comes when the government and the Taliban were preparing to starts peace talks following a unilateral U.S. deal with the Taliban, by which the Pentagon should withdraw all its troops from the country by the end of May 2021, a promise made by Donald Trump.
The past week was the deadliest of the past 19 years. Taliban carried out 422 attacks in 32 provinces, martyring 291 ANDSF members and wounding 550 others. Taliban's commitment to reduce violence is meaningless, and their actions inconsistent with their rhetoric on peace.
However, Faisal says that "Taliban's commitment to reduce violence is meaningless, and their actions inconsistent with their rhetoric on peace."
The Taliban, on the other hand, has rejected the Afghan government's report of a spike in insurgent attacks, calling it "propaganda" aimed at undermining the still-unscheduled intra-Afghan talks.
Yet the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan registered 12 acts of violence targeting health care workers between March 11 and May 23 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, eight of them were attributed to the Taliban.
On June 17 government officials denounced that the Taliban´s killings were jeopardizing the peace process, as Taliban fighters had killed at least 18 Afghan security personnel in two attacks on checkpoints in the North.
Later on June 21, it was reported that Taliban militants had kidnapped about 60 civilians in central Afghanistan with more than half still being held despite the effort to kick-start peace talks.