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AIHRC notes spike in civilian deaths amid peace efforts

KABUL (TOLO News): At least 11,000 civilians were killed and wounded in Afghanistan during the 1397 solar year which coincides with March 2018 to March 2019, according to statistics by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC), as diplomatic efforts at home and in international level move on to end the 18-year-old conflict.

The figures show a 19 percent increase in civilian fatalities compared to a year before, the AIHRC Chairperson Sima Samar said at a press conference on Tuesday.

She said that although the number of civilian deaths saw some decrease during last year but added that the number of those sustained injuries during this period has sharply increased.

The Taliban and Daesh militants were blamed for most of the casualties.

“The independent human rights commission of Afghanistan asks all warring sides to respect the international law and agree on a truce to end civilian casualties in the country,” said Samar.

According to the AIHRC report, from the total number of 11,000 casualties, 3,032 people were killed while the remaining 8180 others were wounded.

The report also states that casualties among the Afghan women were also increased during this period by 16 percent.

The report says that the Taliban was responsible for 53 percent of the casualties, Daesh was responsible for 12 percent while the Afghan security forces and their foreign counterparts were blamed for 11.5 percent of the fatalities.

The report adds that a potential truce between the warring factions into the conflict in Afghanistan can have significant impacts on reducing the number of casualties in the country.

One of the civilians killed last year was Qais, an Afghan university student who got his bachelor degree from the economy faculty by bearing various difficulties during his education. After graduating from high school, he was hired as a supervisor in Afghan Post Service Department of the Ministry of Communications and Information Technology. Qais who managed to complete his education under tough circumstance was killed during this week’s attack on the communications ministry. He was the only breadwinner of his family.

“He was always advising the children to study as they are expected to build the future of the country,” said Qais’s brother Mohammad Khaibar Mohammadi.

“Qais’s mother went unconscious when she learned about the death of his son,” said Hajji Mohammad Saeed, Qais’s brother in law.

Also in March, the AIHRC in a report had said that civilian and military deaths and injuries in Afghanistan from suicide attacks and other violence-related incidents by insurgents rose by 12 percent in 1397 Solar year.

The rights body at the time said that, the fall of Ghazni city to the Taliban, for few days, attack on Afghan Army’s 215 Maiwand Corps in southern Helmand province, a suicide attack on a sports complex in Kabul, suicide attack on Mawood tuition center in the west of Kabul and the suicide attacks on a demonstration in Momand Dara district in eastern Nangarhar province were among the deadliest attacks in 1397 which resulted to massive civilian casualties.

Details of four major attacks in 1397:

• Attack on Maiwand wrestling club left 20 civilians dead and 70 others wounded

• Attack on Mauood tuition center left 48 students dead and 67 others wounded

• Attack on Momand Dara protests left 45 civilians dead and 160 others wounded

• Attack on Green Village Camp in Kabul killed 4 civilians and wounded 95 others

• Attack on the death anniversary of Abdul Mazari killed 11 civilians, 95 others, including 12 women, were wounded in the attack.

• Attack on a construction company in Nangarhar which killed 16 civilians

Afghan security forces also suffered major casualties in 1397.

The attack on Ghazni city left 200 Taliban fighters dead. 100 military personnel and 30 civilians were also killed in the attack.

An attack by Taliban militants on a training center of National Directorate of Security (NDS) in Maidan Wardak province left at least 43 officers dead and 57 others wounded. Later last month, the Taliban launched a coordinated attack on 215 Maiwand Army Corps which left 26 soldiers dead. Almost 20 militants were killed in the attack.

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