Taliban Blockade Brings Starvation

In central Afghanistan at least 100 people, mostly women and children, have died of starvation caused by a Taliban militia blockade barring transport of relief supplies into the region, according to unconfirmed U.N. World Food Program (WFP) reports. Reports said that 3,000 families are likely to run out of food in a few days and that tens of thousands more could starve to death this month in the Hazarajat region.

“The missions, some on foot, in trucks or on horseback, have been sending back preliminary information on pockets of severe hunger, dwindling food supplies and empty marketplaces,” the report said. “They have filed unconfirmed reports of as many as 100 deaths by starvation — mostly women and children.”

Taliban leaders broke off so-called “peace-talks” last night when they would not agree to give up the assault on Hazarajat. The talks, hosted by the United Nations and the Organization of Islamic Conference, between the Taliban militia group that controls 85 percent of Afghanistan and northern opposition forces are set to resume Sunday.

Since the fundamentalist group gained control of the capital city of Kabul in September, 1996, they have issued decrees that forbid women from leaving their homes unaccompanied by a brother, son or husband, prohibit girls from obtaining an education and deny women access to adequate healthcare.

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Reuters - May 1, 1998

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