Nato’s top civilian spokesperson in Afghanistan has come under fire for playing down the country’s level of danger over the weekend.
“The children are probably safer here [Kabul] than they would be in London, New York or Glasgow or many other cities,” Mark Sedwill told CBBC Newsround, the televised news programme for youngsters.
“Here in Kabul and the other big cities (in Afghanistan) actually there are very few of those bombs,” he added.
But Sedwill tried to clarify the comments to reporters on Monday, saying they were taken out of context.
“I was trying to explain to an audience of British children how uneven violence is across Afghanistan,” he said.
“Half the insurgent violence takes place in 10 of the 365 districts and, in those places, children are too often the victims of IEDs and other dangers.
“But, in cities like Kabul where security has improved, the total levels of violence, including criminal violence, are comparable to those which many western children would experience.”
But contrary to what the Nato spokesman says, Afghanistan is one of the worst places in the world for a child to live in. One in five children there will die before they reach the age of five due to a myriad of causes, ranging from everyday violence to widespread diseases.
Sue Turton reports from Kabul on how growing up in the Afghan capital is no child’s play.