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Editorial: Civilians under threat

The recent attack on the northern province of Kunduz once again created a tragedy for the poor civilians who were reshaping lives after the last year’s assault by the Taliban insurgents.

The Kunduz city (provincial capital of the province of the same name) came under Taliban attack early Monday morning, while people were sleeping. Kunduz residents woke up by the loud sounds of gunfire, rockets and bombs hitting the small city from four directions.

The militants were reported to have taken the center of the city by the afternoon after the security forces left their positions.

Civilians are the most victims of the clashes. Though there is no exact number of the casualties as the clash is continuing for its fifth day, but thousands of some one million population have fled their houses, displacing to the neighboring provinces of Baghlan, Takhar and Badakhshan, according to the reports made by the government and international organizations.

The United Nations humanitarian agency says that over ten thousand of people have been displaced. It warns of a “looming humanitarian crisis as food and water run short”.

The head of provincial council, Mohammad Yousuf Ayubi, has said that the people are continuing to leave for the neighboring provinces as the clashes between the Taliban militants and government forces is still going on in the city.

The displaced people, as the reports say, are facing severe shortages of food, potable water, medicines, warm clothes and shelters.

As those people still remain in their houses say, all the markets and shops in the Kunduz city are closed and they cannot provide foodstuff and other daily needs.

They need urgent assistance and the government and international relief organizations are demanded to provide them with the essential stuff.

It is clear that the government in Kunduz is in a critical situation to meet the demands of the displaced, but we should realize that there will be a human crisis if they are not cared. Thousands of people including children who have escaped the war will be threatened by fatal diseases.

Also, the two hostile sides should avoid targeting civilians. There is a report saying that a hospital in the city has been targeted.

Helpless people are not engaged in the war, but they are frequently victimized by both the government forces and Taliban insurgents in the nearly four-decade of war.

The government always says saving people’s lives is in it priority during the conflict. Let’s hope it can help the vulnerable people of Kunduz.

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