Surging violence and civilian casualties run counter to peace talks
KABUL: More than 487 civilians have been killed and 1,049 others received injuries during three months of grave violence conducted by the Taliban rebels around the country, security officials said on Saturday.
A Spokesman for the Interior Ministry, Tariq Aryan said that the militants had carried out 35 suicide attacks and 507 mine explosions.
The casualties inflicted on civilians in parallel with the peace negotiation conducted by the negotiation teams of the government and Taliban in Qatari capital of Doha to find a political end to the ongoing conflict.
Afghanistan has recently been hit by a high level of violence as both sides try to gain leverage at the negotiation table.
The upward trend in violence has been highlighted by the Afghan and foreign officials. On Thursday, the US Chief of Army Staff, Mark Milley, in a visit to Afghanistan, met the Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and the both sides expressed concerns on the high level of violence.
Prior to that, a Presidential Palace statement quoted UN special representative for Afghanistan, Deborah Lyons as saying that “the violence should be stopped in Afghanistan and that the peace process should conclude a positive result.”
Earlier, Costs of War, a human rights watchdog based in Rhode Island reported that after the US decided to relax its rules of engagement for airstrikes in Afghanistan, the number of the Afghan civilians casualties increased by 330 percent from 2016 to 2019.
The organization said in a report that the Afghan war parties escalated violence to gain leverage in the peace negotiations. “ The data demonstrates that, compared to the previous 10 years, there was a 95 percent increase in civilians killed by U.S. and allied forces’ airstrikes between 2017 and 2019,” the report said.