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46 civilians killed in one week of warfare

93 other civilians were wounded in 401 attacks committed by the Taliban—violence remains high

AT News

KABUL: At least 46 civilians were killed and 93 others wounded in the violence committed by the Taliban in the past one week, an uptick in violence that could jeopardize the fragile peace process.

“Violence has not decreased! Taliban killed 46 civilians and wounded 93 in 401 terrorist activities in just one week. Peace requires commitment and will, which aren’t visible in the actions of the Taliban,” Spokesman for the National Security Council, Javid Faisal said on Saturday.

The majority of casualties happened in Helmand, Badghis, and Ghor provinces.

It has been for months now that the National Security Council briefed the nation over civilian casualties by the Taliban on a weekly basis. The Taliban did not comment on the report so far.

On July 18, the National Security Council said at least 129 civilians were killed and 291 others wounded in the violence committed by the Taliban in the past one month.

The Taliban fighters have continued their violent campaign against the Afghan civilians, the Council said in a statement on that time.

Earlier, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission said that over 1,213 civilians (126 women-225 children) were killed and 1,744 others (171 women-405 children) maimed during the first six months of 2020.

The statistics showed at least 11 percent decrease in the civilian casualties compared to 2019, the commission said in a statement on Tuesday. Southwestern, Central, East, North West and South zones are consecutively placed on table from top to lower number of casualties.

Afghan civilians have been bearing the brunt of casualties in the ongoing war, and the peace process, to end their miseries, remained fragile as Afghan government and the Taliban yet to complete the prisoner release process to start the intra-Afghan negotiations.  

Suhail Shahin, spokesman for the group’s political office in Qatar, said that the insurgent group would release all government prisoners by the Eid Adha festivity (end of July), emphasizing that the government of Afghanistan should also free all the remaining of their prisoners according to the list the militants had offered.

The government says it has freed 4,400 Taliban prisoners, but refuses to release 600 of them accused of “big crimes”. Shahin said that their leadership was prepared to hold talks with the government after the Eid.

Government officials say that some of Taliban fighters returned to the battlefield soon after they were released despite swearing not to take arms.

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