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Civilian casualties termed unacceptable; warring sides urged to shun targeting civilians

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KABUL: The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and Resolute Support Mission have called on warring parties to reduce violence and halt killing and wounding of the civilians, following the UNAMA’s report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

Head of the AIHRC, Shaharzad Akbar termed the high number of civilian casualties during the past six months unacceptable. “The Human Rights Commission has always demanded the reduction of violence and beginning of intra-Afghan negotiations to prevent the civilians’ casualties,” she added.

Akbar said that the intensification of violence has eroded the trust of the Afghans on the peace process. “In fact, one of the biggest obstacles on the path of peace, is the continuation of violence and killing of civilians by all sides,” she added.

The UNAMA placed Afghanistan on top of the world’s unsafe countries.

UN report said that 1,282 civilians were killed and 2,176 others wounded at the first six months of 2020 in Afghanistan. However the figures show a 13 percent drop in the number of civilians casualties compared to the same period in 2019. The report cited the drop in foreign forces operations as the reason for 13 percent reduction in civilian casualties. The UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons urged the government of Afghanistan and Taliban to halt violence and engage into direct-Afghan negotiations.

Following the report, the US and NATO top commander in Afghanistan, Gen. Scott Miller said in a tweet, “The violence is too high, the UNAMA report talks about civilians casualties and the only people paying are the civilians.”

He said that the violence needed to come down to lay out a sustainable peace in Afghanistan.

The Taliban was blamed for 43 percent of the casualties in the report. But the Taliban political spokesman, Zabiullah Mujahid denied the report, saying that the UN arranged its report based on statics provided by the government.

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