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The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) expresses deep concern over a surge in violence against Shia Muslims, particularly in Kabul, Baghlan, and Herat provinces. The latest incident in Herat, where unidentified gunmen targeted a rickshaw carrying Shia clerics, resulted in the tragic deaths of two clerics and four women, with three others injured.
The UNAMA report highlights the intensification of violence against Shia Muslims, with the Taliban, currently in power, publicly denouncing the Herat attack. Despite no group claiming responsibility, concerns of an ongoing 'Hazaras' genocide arise, given the targeted killings of Hazara Shia individuals, including religious scholars and ethnic leaders.
UNAMA calls for thorough investigations into the Herat attack, emphasizing the need for accountability. The organization urges increased support and security measures for those at risk amid the rising sectarian violence. The persistent attacks have fueled calls for action against what some describe as an alarming trend, raising questions about the safety of the Shia community.
The victims' funeral in Herat transforms into a protest against sectarian attacks, with women in western Afghanistan demanding enhanced security measures and condemning ongoing threats to the Shia community. The UN's Special Rapporteur deems attacks on Shia clerics in the province as 'highly concerning,' shedding light on the gravity of the situation.
The escalating violence, coupled with the Taliban's crackdown on Salafists and conflicts in Nangarhar, challenges the U.S.'s efforts to prevent a wider war in the Middle East. Salafists in conflict zones face threats from both the Taliban and the Islamic State Khorasan (IS-K), contributing to mounting tensions that impact regional stability.