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Situation in Afghanistan spinning out of control — UN Secretary-General

UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres told reporters on Friday that the situation in Afghanistan was spinning out of control.

"Afghanistan is spinning out of control," he said.

According to the UN chief, over 1,000 people were killed or injured in hostilities in July alone, while about 241,000 people were forced to flee their homes.

Guterres added that hospitals in the country were overflowing, food and medicines were dwindling, while bridges, roads, schools and healthcare facilities were being destroyed.

"Even [for] a country that has tragically known generations of conflict, Afghanistan is in the throes of yet another chaotic and desperate chapter - an incredible tragedy for its long-suffering people," he said.

In his words, the global community should send a clear signal to Taliban that seizing power in Afghanistan by military means would be inadmissible.

"The message from the international community to those on the warpath must be clear: seizing power through military force is a losing proposition. That can only lead to prolonged civil war or to the complete isolation of Afghanistan," he said.

The UN chief also stressed that attacks on civilians and human rights violations were inadmissible.

"I call on all parties to take heed of the conflict's heavy toll and its devastating impact on civilians," he said, adding that directing attacks against civilians is a serious violation of the international humanitarian law and amounts to a war crime.

Those responsible for military crimes must be punished, he said.

Afghanistan’s security situation deteriorated significantly in April after US President Joe Biden announced that the American armed forces’ operation there which became the US’ longest foreign military campaign was coming to an end. Against this background, the radical Taliban movement (outlawed in Russia) has been stepping up the pace of its offensive in several directions. According to the data from several open sources as well as the claims of the Taliban itself, the radicals are controlling from 60% to 85% of the country’s territory, including the areas along the border with five countries: Iran, China, Pakistan, Tajikistan and Turkmenistan.

[Source: Tass, United Nations, 14Aug21]

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