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  1. ITV Report

Afghan children tell of the horrors of 13-year conflict

As British and other Nato forces prepare to withdraw from Afghanistan, ITV News has obtained exclusive footage showing the impact the 13-year conflict has had on the country's children.

ITV News International Affairs Editor Rageh Omaar reports:

A United Nations report found 2013 was the worst year for Afghan women, girls and boys since 2009, with the highest recorded number of women and children's deaths and injuries.

The report found conflict-related child casualties increased by 34 percent, compared to 2013 to 1,756 with 561 children killed and 1,195 injured.

Improvised explosive devices laid by the Taliban are listed as the most common cause of death an injury for women and children.

Mohammed Shafiq's two sons and a daughter were killed by a suicide bomber. Credit: ITV News

Mohammed Shafiq's two sons and a daughter were killed by a suicide bomber. They were playing outside Mohammed's shop at the time, as he visited his ill mother.

The bomber had concealed the device in a motorbike and had stopped nearby to check it when it exploded. Mr Shafiq said at that moment he "was lost".

Mohammed Shafiq visits his sons and daughter's grave. Credit: ITV News

Unable to cope with his loss, Mr Shafeeq burned the photographs of his children who died in the blast and sold their bicycles. They are buried together in a single grave.

Mohammad Akhbar was injured and his brother was killed in an explosion. Credit: ITV News

Many child victims of the Afghan conflict are taken to Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar.

Mohammad Akhbar was injured in an explosion from a mortar or rocket that killed his brother. His younger sibling did not die in the explosion but bled to death on the 10 hour drive in the search for medical treatment.

Bismilla Akbar says the lack of medical facilities and schools is the same under the Taliban and now. Credit: ITV News

We don't have any clinics or medicines or schools in our village. We have none of those things. During the Taliban we had nothing and right now it's still the same.

– Bismilla Akhbar
Omid was caught in crossfire and had to have his arm amputated. Credit: ITV News

Senior aid worker Benoit de Gryse, of Medecins Sans Frontieres, says many aid projects fail in Afghanistan because they lacked a long term, coherant vision.

Those projects now are non-exsistant anymore. They are already dysfunctional.

So, I think the interventions I have seen were based on a political, or even, a military agenda but not necessarily with the interests of the Afghan patients at heart.

– Senior aid worker Benoit de Gryse

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