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Stratospheric rise in civilian casualties

The innocent people of Afghanistan – the women, children, elderly and younger are continuing to suffer from the longest conflict which is deadly and unbendable. Civilians were killed or injured at record levels in the first half of this year as violence escalated nationwide. The number of internally displaced people also doubled due to the ongoing conflict, making it hard for the government and aid agencies to support them. An 80 percent increase in civilian casualties has been recorded in the first two quarters of this year compared to the same period of 2020. This is the most disturbing figure. According to the report, 1,677 civilians were killed and 3,644 others wounded in the initial six months of the year. During this period, 1,594 security incidents took place. In the same period of time in 2020, at least 1,213 civilians were killed and 1,744 others wounded. We lost 154 women and 372 children to this endless violence this year which the Taliban group is responsible for 56 percent. The pro-government forces are responsible for 15 percent of the casualties – 229 killed, 565 injured. The unidentified perpetrators inflicted 22 percent of the casualties and the Daesh extremist group was responsible for seven percent. The significant surge in civilian casualties came while the Afghan security forces have been fighting the Taliban insurgents, who now control large parts of the country as most of the foreign troops have left Afghanistan after a mission lasting nearly 20 years. Though the US has tried to find some sort of political settlement through talks but unfortunately it moves extremely slowly. This would leave a chilling trajectory if the level of violence is not stemmed. Sadly, all the efforts for peace are going in the wrong direction and talks between the Afghan and Taliban peace members have remained largely stalled and violence unexpectedly surged since May, leaving a big question that what will happen after the end of August when all foreign troops formally depart. Indeed, the civilians will pay the price for the current fighting and its aftermath as the Taliban insurgents don’t respect the human rights and dignity of people. They do what they want and this is an immense catastrophe. Since it’s not clear whether foreign troop withdrawal would cause a vacuum of power but it has already caused an escalation to the violence and the innocent Afghans are once again in the crossfire and will continue to bear the brunt of war for more years to come.

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