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17.8 per cent increase in civilian casualties: AIHRC

By Farhad Naibkhel-KABUL: The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission reports of 9,431 civilian casualties, 17.8 per cent increase in April 2015 to April 2016.

Suicide attacks, ground engagements and mine explosions are counted as main reasons behind the enhance, head of the commission Sima Samar said Saturday.

She said that the commission documented 3,129 deaths and 6,302 injured.

“Out of 9,431 civilian casualties, 4,642 are men, 775 women and 1,116 are children,” Samar said.

72 percent of civilian casualties were carried out by the anti-government armed groups, including the Taliban (both factions related to the Taliban) Haqqni group, al-Qaeda and Daesh. These groups have killed or injured 6,770 people (2,294 dead and 4,476 injured).

The government forces are responsible for nine percent of the civilian casualties.

Suicide attacks have caused 34 percent of the civilian casualties in 1394. As a result of these attacks, 3,214 people were killed or injured (781 dead and 2433 others injured).

As a result of ground fighting, 1,954 civilians were killed or wounded. This figure constitutes 20.7 percent of casualties caused by ground fighting fought between the anti-government armed elements and the government and pro-government forces.

During this year, 1,356 civilians were killed or wounded as a result of mine explosions along the road. This figure makes up 14.38 percent of civilian casualties.

Around 90 civilians were taken hostages, out of which 22 people were killed.

Parties involved in the conflict, especially anti-government armed elements do not care for human rights and humanitarian law, and continue to violate the right of civilians to life, and inflict harm and damage to peoples’ property and assets, according to the report.

The human rights commission recommends the 1949 Geneva Convention and its Additional Protocols and Customary International Humanitarian Law to all the parties, saying they are obliged to comply with the International Humanitarian Laws during armed conflicts.

“Therefore, the offending party shall be held responsible for any violation of these rules.”

Anti- government armed elements are once again recommended to avoid targeting civilians and refrain the methods and tactics that cause civilian casualties.

“We recommend anti- government armed groups to stop taking hostages, assassinations and killing passengers, influential civilian and Clergymen and engaging in extra-judicial killing,” the report said.

“We demand the Afghan government to investigate armed conflict-related violations of international humanitarian law, and try to identify and prosecute all those who have committed violations of international humanitarian law.”

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