July 28, 2010
A prominent women's rights activist says the US-led forces are responsible for a surge in violence against women in northern Afghanistan.
Head of the Independent Women Rights Union (IWRU) Malali Roshandil Osmani told a news conference in Mazar-i-Sharif on Wednesday that "Afghan women have lost their trust in foreign forces," who failed to deliver on their promise to protect women against militant attacks.
Osmani strongly condemned several incidents of violence against women in Balkh Province, where several female teachers and women activists have lost their lives in attacks by unidentified assailants.
"Since the foreign forces, especially [US-led] NATO troops, have been deployed in the northern Afghanistan…the region has been face with bigger challenges which have raised concerns among the residents," she said, a Press TV correspondent reported.
"This is what experts -- and even the people -- had predicted earlier: With the deployment of NATO forces in northern Afghanistan, insecurity and instability in the region will increase," Osmani said, adding that "and this is exactly what happened."
Women and children have been the main victims of violence in Afghanistan, particularly in the country's troubled southern and eastern provinces, where they fall victim to both militant and foreign fire.
Northern Afghanistan was once relatively calm, but militants and criminal gangs have become increasingly active in the region over the past two years.
Thousands of US-led foreign forces in Afghanistan have so far failed to establish security in the country.