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Taliban increases presence in Tajik, Hazara areas, conducts house-to-house searches

Kabul [Afghanistan]: The Taliban regime in Afghanistan has increased the presence of forces in Tajik and Hazara minority-dominated areas of the country and has been conducting house-to-house searches among the community members, media reports said on Monday. "They came to the house without permission and without prior notice, and the women were frightened, and the children were terrified of such inspections," said Mohammad Qasim, a Kabul resident was quoted as saying. The Taliban regime announced on Monday that it was carrying out the inspection of people's houses in coordination with representatives of the districts and the imam of the local mosque, reported Tolo News. The Taliban regime maintains that the searches it is carrying out are "constructive" and in the interest of the people's security, the report said. In addition to the Kabul province, house-to-house searches are also being conducted in Kapisa and Parwan provinces. The reports emerge after Taliban officials admitted earlier this month that they have been facing renewed resistance, especially in the provinces of Kapisa, Parwan, Bamiyan and Panjshir. "The intimidations, house searches, arrests and violence against members of different ethnic groups and women are crimes and must stop immediately. Despite Putin's war, we are watching you," said Andreas von Brandt, Ambassador and Head of Delegation of the European Union (EU) to Afghanistan in a tweet on Sunday. Potzel Markus, German ambassador-designate to Afghanistan tweeted, "Concerned about reports of house searches, intimidation, violence against 'criminals' in & around Kabul. As it turns out, this mostly affected ordinary citizens, including international NGO workers. This is not a proper way to win the hearts & minds of the AFG people." On February 7, armed clashes broke out between residents and the Taliban in Panjshir province after a Taliban vehicle was hit by a mine explosion. The humanitarian situation in Afghanistan has deteriorated drastically since the Taliban took control of Kabul last year in mid-August. A delegation of UN emergency experts who visited Afghanistan earlier this month noted that more than 24 million people, that is, 59 per cent of the Afghan population requires lifesaving assistance in the country, which is a staggering 30 per cent increase since 2021.

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