KABUL (TOLOnews): The Ministry of Defense on Sunday said the Afghan National Army (ANA) has discovered and defused 4,776 IEDs across the country during the last six months.
The ministry in a statement said the IEDs had been planted by the Taliban on public roads, in residential areas and on highways.
According to the ministry statement: “Lives of thousands of civilians were saved and hundreds of kilometers of roads and hundreds of bridges and culverts were preserved as a result of defusing the 4776 IEDs and bombs.”
The ministry said that although the use of IEDs is in serious violation of international human rights laws, unfortunately, the Taliban continue to apply it as war tactic.
In July, official Afghan security data seen by TOLOnews indicated that 2,685 civilians were killed or wounded in five months–from Jan. 21 to June 20–but the figures do not differentiate between those who lost their lives and those who were wounded.
The data tracks from one month ahead of the Feb. 28 peace deal between the US and the Taliban to four months afterward. It shows that civilian casualties increased after the signing of the peace deal compared to one month ahead of the agreement.
The data shows that that 351 civilians were killed or wounded between Jan. 21 and Feb. 19, and the casualties increased to 553 between Feb. 20 to March 19.
The rise in civilian casualties and attacks by the Taliban have been sharply criticized by foreign diplomats and critics who say the violence should be reduced to move the peace process forward.