A war-weary mother who lost her four sons in terrorist attacks wants peace to come to Afghanistan so she can move on from the suffering she has endured.
Speaking to Anadolu Agency, Ziya Gul, who endured the painful loss due to years of conflict in the country, said she raised her eight children under very difficult conditions.
She said she has dedicated her whole life to her children, noting that she earned a living by working as a laborer.
Recounting how she started working at a military school in Kabul when her children grew up, Gul said working there helped increase her love for her country.
After retiring from her job at the school five years ago, she sent two of her sons off to the military.
Shortly after, one of her sons who started his military service was martyred in Logar province and the other was martyred in a clash with Taliban militants in the town of Qara Bagh in Ghazni province, she said.
She said her other two sons were killed in bomb attacks in the capital Kabul.
“I didn’t raise my children to die at a young age but to live, marry and have children,” she said.
Gul underlined that mothers and wives felt the pain of war the most.
“After the loss of my children, my world has darkened,” she added.
Dedicated her life to her children
Gul said the husbands of two of her daughters were also killed, which was yet another source of pain for her.
She said her husband is also visually impaired and she has to struggle to support her family on her own.
“No one should suffer such pain. No child should die from terrorism. I pray that no one else experiences this, including future generations. May peace come to Afghanistan, happiness, and everyone live in safety,” she said.
Victims of war: civilians
A report published by the United Nations Aid Mission in Afghanistan revealed that 3,493 civilians died in the country in 2019 and 6,989 were wounded.
The report, published in February last year, said the number of civilians killed or injured in the civil war in Afghanistan in the last 10 years has surpassed 100,000.
In 2019, the number of civilians targeted by the Taliban increased by 21% and the number of civilians killed or wounded in attacks by Afghan and US forces rose by 18%.
A total of 1,282 civilians lost their lives in violent incidents in the first half of last year. It was reported that children and women suffered the most from the violence.
The UN has been recording civilian casualties in Afghanistan since 2009.
Violence has increased since intra-Afghan peace talks began on Sept. 12 last year, according to the National Security Council of Afghanistan.