Taliban rejects UN report findings on increase in Afghanistan security incidents

A view of Kabul City. FILE PHOTO

The Taliban on Thursday rejected the findings of a report by UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres that noted an increase in security incidents in Afghanistan.

In a statement, the Taliban accused the United Nations of “distorting the mentality of the Afghan people and misinterpreting security issues in the country.”

Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said in the statement that the report’s findings were influenced by “certain intelligence circles” aiming to pressure the Taliban.

He expressed doubts about the report’s accuracy, calling it an “misuse” of the United Nations’ name and title.

Mujahid also claimed that the Taliban’s anti-drug efforts have resulted in more than 14,000 arrests since last year and the destruction of over 5,500 tons of narcotics.

According to Guterres’ report, there was a 38% increase in conflict-related security incidents in Afghanistan from Nov. 1, 2023, to Jan. 10, 2024, compared with the same period the previous year. The United Nations documented 1,508 security incidents, up from 1,090 incidents during the same timeframe in 2022-2023. The central region saw the highest number of incidents at 263, followed by the northeastern region with 247 incidents.

The report attributed a significant portion of the increase to narcotics-related incidents, which jumped from 102 to 263. The majority of these incidents involved the arrest of small-scale narcotics dealers.