A Deadly Start to the Solar New Year: 60 People Were Killed Over One Week

By: Amin Kawa

At the beginning of the solar new year, the people of Afghanistan are facing poverty, insecurity, political instability, and an uncertain leadership. In the first seven days of the solar new year, there have been 60 fatalities reported, including eight children who died due to military conflict and explosions in various provinces. Additionally, 20 people have died as a result of natural disasters such as earthquakes and floods. Furthermore, citizens have been killed by suicide attacks in Kabul, hand bomb explosions, abductions, targeted assassinations, and personal enmities, demonstrating the Taliban’s inability to prevent such occurrences or to help those affected by natural disasters.

On Monday, March 27, a suicide attack occurred near the gate of the Taliban’s Foreign Ministry, resulting in the death of six civilians, including two former diplomats of the republic regime. According to a tweet from the Taliban security command to Kabul’s spokesperson, Khalid Zadran, six people were killed and several more were injured, including three members of the Taliban. Sources informed Hasht-e-Subh that two former diplomats who had been working with the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs were also among the victims of the suicide attack. Photos of the victims of this incident, which were posted on social media, showed two diplomats from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs: Amanullah Salim and Assadullah Amiri, both of whom had served on multiple international missions.

Meanwhile, the Emergency Hospital reported on its Twitter page that it had received 10 injured and two fatalities from the attack, for which no group has yet taken responsibility. Prior to this, on January 13, another suicide attack near the Taliban’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul had resulted in 23 fatalities and 40 injuries among the ministry’s employees.

Taliban Killing and Beheading Civilians

Abdul Wudod, a renowned reciter of the Quran, is said to have been shot and killed by the Taliban in the presence of his wife and child on the Jawzjan-Sar-e-Pul highway in the Qara-Kin district on March 23. Allegedly, this was due to his association with Marshal Abdul Rashid Dostum as a commander.

Targeted Assassinations and Kidnappings

At least 10 civilians have been killed in the first four days of the solar new year, despite the Taliban’s repeated promises to protect people. Taliban officials in Jawzjan province reported that a 30-year-old civilian, Abdul Hadi, was killed by unidentified gunmen after being abducted. His corpse was found in Imam Jafar village in the center of Sar-e-Pul province on March 23, after he had been kidnapped from Kok-Gunbad in Maimana city, the capital of the northern province of Faryab.

Armed gunmen attacked a family in Farah province of Afghanistan on Wednesday, March 22, in the Sepanzoy area of Farah-Rood district, resulting in the death of one family member and the injury of another. Local sources informed Hasht-e-Subh that the family had resisted the gunmen, which led to the shooting of one of the family members.

On Wednesday, March 22, an inhabitant of Shirzad district in Nangarhar province was murdered by unidentified gunmen. This event occurred behind Sirajul Emarat’s yard in Jalalabad city, as confirmed by local sources to Hasht-e-Subh. In addition, violent attacks in several provinces of Afghanistan in the past days have resulted in the deaths of Taliban members. According to reports in Hasht-e-Subh, one Taliban member and two civilians were killed on Tuesday, March 21, in the Pashtunkot district of Faryab province.

Last Tuesday, March 21, an unidentified group of gunmen killed Saifudin, a 50-year-old civilian, in Sheberghan city, the provincial center of Jawzjan province. The cause of his death has yet to be determined, though there have been reports that the Taliban have been holding open-air courts against their rivals. Additionally, Noor Muhammad Bidaki, the imam of the Muhammadiya mosque in Maimana, the capital of the Faryab province, was assassinated. The Taliban’s local officials have stated that one person has been apprehended in connection with the imam’s death, but have not provided any further details.

Reliable sources informed Hasht-e-Subh that a man was murdered by unidentified gunmen in the Faizabad district of Jawzjan Province on Monday, March 27. The sources stated that the victim, Ehsanullah, was a resident of Maidan-e-Bala village in Faizabad district.

This week, an unidentified group of gunmen assassinated a middle-aged man in the Qaisar district of Faryab province. The Taliban’s local officials in the province have not yet provided any information regarding the incident.

Deaths from Explosions and Hand Grenades

According to reports, an explosion of a grenade in Samangan Province last week resulted in the death of two Taliban members and the injury of two others. On Thursday, March 23, local sources informed Hasht-e-Subh that the explosion occurred in the Taliban intelligence offices in Aybak City. The sources stated that the Taliban members had been engaged in a verbal dispute prior to the explosion. Additionally, a mortar warhead exploded inside a house in Char-Deh Village, part of the Waghez District of Ghazni Province, resulting in the death of one child and the injury of five others. The sources reported that the mortar warhead was still in the area, and three of the injured civilians are in a critical condition. Furthermore, a hand grenade explosion in the Tagab District of Badakhshan Province killed two children and injured five others.

UNICEF reported on Sunday, March 6, that eight children had been killed in bomb blasts across Afghanistan in the preceding week. According to UNICEF, the children had been killed while mishandling explosive bombs and collecting iron fragments for sale.

Fatalities Caused by Natural Disasters

The arrival of spring has brought with it a number of natural disasters that have put Afghans in serious peril, including heavy rain, flooding, earthquakes, and other natural catastrophes. According to the United Nations Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance (OCHA), five people were killed, 58 were injured, and 665 homes were destroyed in nine provinces of Afghanistan due to the earthquake on Tuesday. According to local sources in Laghman province, the earthquake caused the deaths of two inhabitants and the injuries of ten others.

The Taliban reported that fifty people were killed and injured as a result of the earthquakes on Tuesday, March 22nd, which affected people living in Kabul, Badakhshan, Paktika, Laghman, Khost, Baghlan, and Samangan provinces. Furthermore, local sources in Panjshir province informed Hasht-e-Subh that the earthquake had destroyed the residents’ houses. Additionally, one person was reported to have died from the earthquake in Talkhar province. In a conversation with Hasht-e-Subh, local sources in Takhar province stated that four people were injured and one person had died due to the earthquake in Shingan and Farkhar districts.

At least 170 residential homes have been destroyed due to the earthquake in various parts of Parwan province. On Saturday, 5th of Hamal, local sources informed Hasht-e-Subh that Sayed-Khel, Shinwari, and Siah-gerd districts had sustained damage which resulted in 15 injuries.

On Sunday, March 26th, the Taliban’s Ministry of Natural Disasters Management reported that nine people had died and more than 1,700 homes had been destroyed due to the earthquake and flooding in Afghanistan during the first six days of the solar new year. Furthermore, the ministry reported that seven provinces of Afghanistan had experienced heavy rain and snowfall, resulting in three fatalities and seven injuries.

Ten newborns perished due to flooding in Khashroud and Tarani villages in the Nawzad district of Helmand province on March 25. Local sources in Helmand province informed Hasht-e-Subh that the inhabitants of these villages had sustained considerable damage as a result of the floods.

A mother and two other individuals, including an eight-year-old, were injured when the roof of a home in Uruzgan Province collapsed at the beginning of the first week of the solar year 1402. On Friday, March 24, local sources informed Hasht-e-Subh that the incident occurred around 6:00 a.m. in the Zindan-e-Kalacha district of Trinkot City, the center of Uruzgan province, due to heavy rainfall.

Victims of Interpersonal Conflicts in the Last Week

Conflicts between individuals in Afghanistan have resulted in fatalities in the past week, in addition to explosions, natural disasters, and accusations against the Taliban.

Local sources in Faryab province reported that three people were killed on Saturday, March 26, due to a disagreement between two families concerning livestock. It is alleged that the incident occurred in the Shur-Darya village of the Dawlat-Abad district of Faryab province.

It was reported by local sources to Hasht-e-Subh on Friday, March 24, that a man had killed his brother in the Tale Barfak district of Baghlan province. This incident serves as a reminder of the long-standing issue of domestic abuse and verbal conflicts that Afghans have traditionally been subjected to in this country.

Many Afghans are concerned about the rise in robberies, the clandestine abductions by Taliban members, the disputes among Taliban leaders, the repression and detention of female activists, and the questioning and detention of former security personnel. They feel that the Taliban are unable to provide the population with social and economic services or guarantee their safety.