Airstrikes and killing civilians condemned in western provinces

Monitoring Desk

FARAH: Residents and provincial council members in the western provinces of Farah and Badghis are demanding that attention be paid to civilian casualties from air raids and said that children and women have been killed in airstrikes recently. A watchdog group in Herat has called for an end of the strikes, and for those responsible for civilian casualties to be brought to justice.

Members of the provincial council of Badghis province said on Sunday that 14 civilians have been killed–including women and children–in the past two weeks during air raids.

“The civilian casualties are the main issue for the people, the nation, the security forces and also the central government. The government always said that the security of the civilians is their priority, and it has been said to the security forces to take care,” said Abdul Aziz Bek, head of Badghis provincial council.

“The security forces do not have good coordination…Why do they do that? Why do they kill dozens of civilians for the sake of one Talib? It raises concerns,” said Nasir Omar Zia, a civil society activist.

Meanwhile, provincial council members of Farah province are also concerned about the civilian casualties.

“Sometimes the security forces conduct operations against those who are not Taliban… We want the operations to stop. The Taliban, the government and foreign forces should stop all operations,” said Khair Mohammad Noorzai, member of Farah provincial council.

The office of Afghanistan’s Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in Herat province urged security forces to stop the operations.

“We demand the officials to investigate the attacks and identify the perpetrators, for the sake of justice,” said Abdul Wahid Aslami, head of the monitoring of the security forces section in AIHRC in Herat.

Mohammad Naim Ghuroor, a military affairs analyst, said: “They are negligent in the detection process, and are not thorough…in coordination.”

However, Fawad Aman, deputy spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, said that security forces are accurate during operations.

“The Afghan National Security and Defense Forces are trying to save civilians lives during operations. The civilians and their property are a top priority of the Afghan security and defense forces,” said Aman. A month ago during an operation against Mullah Nangyalay, a top Taliban splinter group commander, many civilians were also reportedly killed, but security institutions declined to comment about the operation yet. (TOLOnews)