The Taliban have forced the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) to close more than a half of its health facilities in six districts of the central Afghan province of Wardak, the non-governmental organization said in a statement
KABUL (Pakistan Point News / Sputnik - 17th July, 2019) The Taliban have forced the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) to close more than a half of its health facilities in six districts of the central Afghan province of Wardak, the non-governmental organization said in a statement.
According to the Swedish Committee, the Taliban demanded this weekend that SCA shut down its health facilities. It came after a deadly raid on the SCA-backed hospital in Tangi Saidan area in Wardak in the early hours of July 9 left four people killed, including a doctor, and one more missing. The committee condemned the attack, saying it was carried out by the Afghan National Security Forces. Pajhwok Afghan news, however, reported, citing a government official that six Taliban militants had been killed in the operation and two people, including a doctor, had been detained.
"The Taliban forced SCA to close 42 out of 77 health facilities in six out of nine districts of Wardak province so far, and due to this closure, an estimated number of over 5,700 patients are affected on daily basis," SCA said.
The committee noted that pushing for closure of health facilities and hence denying people medical treatment was an "obvious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law."
"We demand immediate reopening of all health facilities for the people and we strongly urge all parties involved in conflict to refrain from such actions which deliberately puts civilian lives at risk," SCA country director Sonny Mansson said, as quoted in the statement.
"It has been many times the SCA did not take action when their staffs were killed in such raids, the local residents frequently requested us to take action cause the committee is not taking action, we banned some of their facilities," Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid said.
He added that the movement was trying to find "another supporter" to help operate the facilities, not ruling out, however, that the sides would ultimately "negotiate so they restart their activities."