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Four children from same family killed in Zabul blast

AT-KABUL: Four members of the same family were killed and one another injured in a roadside bomb in Shajoy district of southern Zabul province, local official said on Saturday.

District Chief, Wazir Mohammad Jawadi, said that the roadside bomb went off in Tazi area of the district on late Friday.

He said that the children were playing at the roadside when the improvised explosive device (IED) went off.

He blamed the Taliban for planting the IED to target security forces. However, the insurgents have not commented on the tragic incident.

Separately, a man and a woman were killed for having allegedly extramarital affairs.

According to the district chief of Shajoy, the slain woman’s husband was also among the assailants. Police have arrested a few suspects and investigation is underway.

It is worth to mention here that in February this year, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in its annual report recorded 11,002 civilian casualties including 3,545 deaths and 7,457 injured, the highest record since 2009.

UNAMA finding showed that in 2015, UNAMA documented a 37 per cent increase in women’s casualties while the casualties of children had a 14 per cent increase.

“In 2015, the conflict caused extreme harm to the civilian population, with particularly appalling consequences for children. Unprecedented numbers of children were needlessly killed and injured last year – one in four casualties in 2015 was a child,” said Danielle Bell, UNAMA Director of Human Rights.

She said that “Other children suffered the loss of parents, and increasingly their mothers, sisters, and female role models – one in 10 casualties was a woman.”

She reiterated anti-government elements continued to cause the most harm – 62 per cent of all civilian casualties, Pro-Government Forces caused 17 per cent of civilian casualties, two per cent from international military forces, and one per cent from pro-Government armed groups.

Fighting between the parties to the conflict, which could not be attributed to one specific party, caused 17 per cent of the rest civilian casualties, she mentioned.

Ground engagements between parties to the conflict caused the highest number of total civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices and suicide and complex attacks, causing the most fatalities amongst civilians, followed by targeted and deliberate killings, the report said.

Anti-Government elements continued to cause the most harm – 62 per cent of all civilian casualties – despite a 10 per cent reduction from 2014 in the total civilian casualties resulting from their attacks. Notwithstanding the overall decrease, the report documents anti-government elements increasing use of some tactics that deliberately or indiscriminately cause civilian harm, including targeted killings of civilians, complex and suicide attacks, as well as indiscriminate and illegal pressure-plate IEDs. In addition this reduction of Anti-Government Elements caused casualties must be considered in the light of the increase in unattributed casualties.

Ground engagements between parties to the conflict caused 4,137 civilian casualties (1,116 deaths and 3,021 injured) – a 15 per cent increase from 2014 – and the leading cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan. Improvised explosive devices caused 2,368 civilian casualties (713 deaths and 1,655 injured). While this represents a 20 per cent decrease it is still the second leading cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

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