Some 400 civilians killed in Afghanistan since Taliban takeover - UN

The UN's human rights chief also took aim at Taliban for the attack on women's rights and freedoms in Afghanistan.

Members of Taliban forces ride on a pick-up truck mounted with a weapon in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 3, 2021. (photo credit: REUTERS/JORGE SILVA)
Members of Taliban forces ride on a pick-up truck mounted with a weapon in Kabul, Afghanistan, October 3, 2021.
(photo credit: REUTERS/JORGE SILVA)

The United Nations human rights chief said on Monday nearly 400 people had been killed in Afghanistan since the Taliban takeover, many at the hands of a group affiliated with the Islamic State.

Speaking at a month-long session of the Human Rights Council in Geneva, Michelle Bachelet added that more than 50 individuals with suspected ties to that group known as ISIS-K had been killed, with some beheaded and their bodies discarded in public.

Since Taliban took control of Afghanistan in August 2021, several suicide bombings have been carried out at mosques across the Asian country. In October, 41 Afghans were killed in a bombing of a Shi'ite mosque in Kandahar. Another mosque suicide bombing, also in October, killed 46 people and wounded 143 in Kunduz.

Islamic State took responsibility for these attacks, along with a more recent suicide bombing in Pakistan which killed at least 50 and injured more than 200 people.

 United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends the special session of the UN Human Rights Council, on the situation in Ukraine at the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, March 3, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE) United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet attends the special session of the UN Human Rights Council, on the situation in Ukraine at the United Nations, in Geneva, Switzerland, March 3, 2022 (credit: REUTERS/DENIS BALIBOUSE)

Actions by Afghanistan's Taliban rulers have curtailed women's rights and freedoms, Bachelet said in the same speech.

Bachelet added that women have been "largely excluded" from the Afghan workforce since the takeover, calling for women to be allowed to "fully participate" in public life.

The UN human rights chief also labeled reported enforced disappearances conducted by Taliban "disturbing." In January, Human Rights Watch (HRW) reported the Taliban secretly abducted and imprisoned Afghan women's rights activists Tamana Paryani, Parwana Ibrahimkhel and more.

The activists were last seen on January 16 in a protest in capital Kabul against recent Taliban abuses of women protesters and other restrictions on women. According to HRW, they were last seen three days later, when armed men claiming to be Taliban intelligence broke through the door of Paryani’s home and took her away, along with three of her sisters.