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Daily Evacuation Brief | April 21, 2022
LAST 24 HOURS:
The death toll from the deadly school bombings in Dasht-e-Barchi has risen above 20 as those severely injured in the blast have succumbed to their wounds. The casualty count is expected to increase as the rubble is cleared, and more bodies are discovered.
Observers (both official and unofficial) are beginning to question the circumstances around the recent Pakistani air strikes. Pakistan has remained quiet about the strikes and have only stated they are investigating the situation. Some observers are now suggesting the strikes may have been conducted by rogue elements in the military and that official permission had not been sought or given. Considering the timing of the strike, these concerns seem potentially plausible. However, the Pakistani Police and Military have suffered significant casualties since January, many at the hands of insurgent groups, (see chart below) so the new government may have simply decided that enough was enough.
Taliban security forces intercepted a radar system that was being smuggled across the border to Pakistan. The system was reportedly a portable one that had been in use by the US Air Force to establish forward operating bases. It is believed the smugglers intended to offer the system for sale to a private buyer in Pakistan.
In the wake of the school bombings, the Ministry of Education demanded increased protections for schools across the country but especially in areas where minorities are concentrated. Such a demand will tax the Taliban forces significantly.
Seven men were flogged publicly on orders from the Supreme Court for crimes such as selling/consuming alcohol. This is the first time the Supreme Court has issued such strict punishments since the Taliban returned to power. Floggings were a common punishment during the Taliban’s 1990s rule.
Dr. Mohammad Baqir Saeer, a noted surgeon and lecturer, is believed to be in Taliban custody. Several family members of those killed in the horrific school bombings had asked him to preside over funerals of the fallen just prior to his arrest. No further information is available.
NEXT 24 HOURS:
Although both the Uzbek Foreign Minister and Defense Minister have claimed they face no threat along the joint border with Afghanistan, Uzbek artillery units were reportedly moved closer to the river and a counter-battery radar system is expected to be put in place sometime over the next 24 hours. The counter-battery radar would provide the Uzbek military with coordinates should any rockets or projectiles be fired across the border.
The Afghan Digest strongly condemns any country that targets and kills civilians, including Pakistan’s recent strikes in Kunar and Khost. However, we deemed it potentially helpful to provide information about what may have influenced Pakistan’s decision to launch the strikes. To that end, we compiled a list of Pakistani police/military deaths that have been reported since January 1, 2022.
This data was compiled from official reports and reporting in press outlets, and it may not be complete. It is not clear how many (if any) of the deaths can be attributed to possible terrorist groups operating out of Afghanistan.
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