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Editorial: Unbroken trend

From 2001-present, hundreds of civilian have been killed and wounded due to war-related violence in Afghanistan, where peace and stability still seems a distant dream. Beside security officials, civilians, including the innocent children and women are the worst victim of the ongoing war, with no end sees in sight. The number of civilian deaths has reached a record high, continuing an almost unbroken trend of nearly a decade of rising casualties. The number of deaths of women and children grew especially fast, primarily due to the Taliban’s use of homemade bombs, which caused 40 percent of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2017, according to UN figures. Child casualties increased by 9 percent to 436, compared with the same period last year, and 1,141 children were wounded. Female deaths rose by 23 percent, with 174 women killed and 462 injured. The US and Afghan airstrikes also contributed to the surge in civilian victims, the figures showed. Moreover, Civilian Protection Advocacy Group (CPAG) voiced concern over increasing civilian casualties in Afghanistan, denouncing last month’s deadly attacks. A CPAG report documented 435 casualties in October only. 200 people were killed, including 11 children, eight women, and another 235 were injured, including 16 women. Of 106 fatalities from suicide attacks, most were killed in Kabul, Ghor and Paktia provinces. Moreover, 21 civilians were killed in 14 gun attacks while at least 17 people lost their lives in 12 roadside bombings. This is the highest casualties in one month. Noting this, the human cost of this prolonged war is far too high, despite destruction and immense suffering. This is imperative for the militant outfits to restrain targeting civilians during their evil goal. In several heart-wrenching incidents claimed by the insurgent outfits, the Afghan civilians—women, children and elders have been the victim considering others. Civilians kill at first place. But the most irritating is that terrorists targeting civilians directly. Mosques attack in which worshipers were killed is a visible example of this atrocity. Now militants, especially the Daesh terrorist are in direct fight against civilians—something which is not acceptable to any law around the globe. Viewing this, it is of the essence that militant outfits to bring zero level civilian casualties during their irrational war. We highly commend the Afghan security forces for reducing civilian casualties from ground engagements, including indiscriminate firing of mortars and other heavy weapons in civilian areas. The National Unity Government has to promptly adopt more measures to better protect civilians. We can’t extend the same call to the militant outfits as they (militants) during decades of war caused more casualties to the civilians.

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