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Fears grow at civilian deaths amid surge in conflict

AT News

KABUL: Ahmad Khaled Jalili lost his older brother in an armed clash between government forces and Taliban militants less than three weeks ago in the northern province of Baghlan.

“My brother was one of thousands of youth who left this world with the peace-loving heart. He used to write about peace, reduction in violence, cease fire and national unity on his Facebook page,” said Jalili, 25.

He lives in the Pol-e-Khumri city, provincial capital. His brother Ahmad Shekib Jalili, 31, worked at a private bank and was a civil society activist.

“Unfortunately, my brother was martyr in a clash and his death is a serious alarming for me and all the people as civilian casualties is rising nowadays.”

The late Jalili, his brother said, was married and has two children (one seven years old and one two years old).

The new surge in violence has worried people in different parts of Afghanistan.

Atefa, 19, is from Kandahar province in the south. She says that insecurity has affected their lives.

“I, my family and every other Afghan cannot go out of home without concerns about our lives. We cannot study, we cannot work because we are not sure if we come home back in this insecure situation,” she said.

Taliban agreed to observe a three-day long cease fire during the Eid days in late May. But they launched deadly attacks and bombings after the cease fire in Kabul, Kandahar, Paktia, Parwan, Khost, Badakhshan, Jawzjan, Farah and Zabul, killing and injuring scores of security forces and civilians.

On June 3rd, nine passengers of a bus were killed when the bus struck a roadside bomb in Kandahar province, according to provincial officials, who said that all the victims were civilians.

On June 2nd, a bomb blast killed a cleric Ayaz Neyazi and one other man inside the Wazir Akbar Khan mosque in Kabul.

On June 5th, 10 police officers were killed in a Taliban ambush near Qalat city, provincial capital of Zabul.

The attacks come at a time that people are suffering health and economic problems due to the Corona virus pandemic.

Zabihullah Farhang, an official at the Independent Human Rights Commission, said civilians pay the cost of the war.

“Civilians like women and children have the main burden of the war on their shoulders. Our findings show that civilians are the main victims of the war, not military people. This is while civilians have no role in the war,” he said.

Patricia Gossman, from Human Rights Watch, says that civilians are the most victims of the war.

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