Afghan Taliban force Swedish group to close some medical centers

Afghan Taliban force Swedish group to close some medical centers Afghan Taliban force Swedish group to close some medical centers

Taliban militants in Afghanistan have forced a foreign charity to close more than half of its health centers in a central province.

The Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA) confirmed on Wednesday that the Taliban had forced the organization to close 42 of its 77 health centers in central Wardak Province.

More than 5,700 patients were affected by the closures, the SCA said.

“Forcing SCA to close health facilities, hence denying people to receive medical treatment and health services, is an obvious violation of human rights and international humanitarian law,” said Sonny Mansson, the SCA’s country director.

The SCA, which has more than 6,000 Afghan employees operating in 14 Afghan provinces running health, education, and other development programs, closed the Wardak centers for security concerns.

The Taliban were ruling Afghanistan before the 2001 US-led invasion of the country. While their regime was toppled in that invasion, members of the group have been involved in militancy ever since, targeting civilians and government and foreign forces.

They have targeted medical operations both before and after the 2001 invasion.

Earlier this year, the Taliban ordered the International Committee of the Red Cross and the World Health Organization to stop operating in areas under their control, citing unspecified “suspicious” actions during vaccination campaigns.

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