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UN Official Warns of Increased Vulnerability of Shiites in Afghanistan

UN Official Warns of Increased Vulnerability of Shiites in Afghanistan

Rosa Otunbayeva, head of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), warned the UN Security Council on Wednesday that the country’s Shiite community is facing increased vulnerability.

In a briefing to the council, Otunbayeva cited a series of targeted attacks against Shiites in recent months. She said that 39 people were killed in three recent attacks, and that all of them, as well as three other targeted attacks against Shiite clerics in Herat that killed nine people, were claimed by the Islamic State group.

“The attacks on Shiites are a serious concern,” Otunbayeva said. “They are not only a violation of human rights, but they also threaten the stability of Afghanistan.”

Otunbayeva called on the Taliban government to take steps to protect Shiites and other minority groups. She also urged the international community to provide assistance to Afghans who have been affected by the violence.

The Taliban has condemned the attacks on Shiites, but it has been criticized for not doing enough to prevent them. The group has also been accused of discriminating against Shiites and other minority groups.

The attacks on Shiites are part of a broader pattern of violence in Afghanistan. The country has been plagued by insecurity since the Taliban took control in August 2021. The Islamic State group has been particularly active in recent months. The group has claimed responsibility for a number of high-profile attacks, including the bombing of a Shiite mosque in Kunduz that killed dozens of people.

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