AT-KABUL: A large number of residents from eastern Paktia province on Wednesday staged protest after they lost their six kin in an Afghan night raid. They chanted anti-night raids slogan and demanded an immediate halt to the military operations causing civilian casualties.
Time and again, the Afghan and foreign forces night raids caused a storm of protest because the biggest grievance for the Afghan masses is the civilian casualties. The protestors called on the government forces to protect civilians during their operations against militants in the province.
“We the tribal elders, the local representatives, the religious scholars and the residents, who have come here from Zazai Aryub district, want an end to the night raids which are carried out unexpectedly,” Abdul Ghiyas Haqyar, a Paktia resident was quoted by a TOLONews.
“We are against the operations… We will not be against these operations if they are conducted in close coordination with Paktia officials. We are not against operations against the enemy, but we are against operations which hurt the civilians,” said Samad Zazai, another resident of the province.
Another protester Raees Zazai said: “A thorough investigation should be conducted into the recent night raid that killed children, and those who are found guilty should be punished.”
Meanwhile, a member of Paktia Provincial Council, Sardar Malangzoi, said civilians have suffered in recent night raids carried out by Afghan and foreign forces in the province.
“This issue should be coordinated with Paktia officials and they should be asked whether the enemy is targeted,” he said.
“Civilians should not be hurt in any operation. This happens in many provinces. Government is committed and it will hear people’s voice,” said Abdulwali Sahi, deputy governor of Paktia.
Last week, a family in Paktia province claimed they lost six members in a night raid by “campaign forces” in Zurmat district in the province.
The family said that Naeem Farooqi, a tribal elder and member of Paktia peace committee, was killed along with his three sons and two of his brothers in this operation.