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Editorial: Victims of war

Afghan civilians have been frequently victimized by the so-called “operations against terrorism” launched by the US-led international coalition forces since the beginning of the operations for 15 years.

The foreign troops came to the country in the early 2002 with the aim of help the government and people of Afghanistan to eliminate the terrorists and their sanctuaries and provide a peaceful atmosphere after nearly three decades of war and bloodshed that claimed the lives of hundreds of thousands of people.

The mission against terrorism was warmly welcomed by Afghan people—suffering and tired of war—who hoped the new era could help them live in peace like other nations in the world. They had expected the international troops could help to put an end to the bloodshed, but unfortunately, this expectation was not fulfilled. Still, the innocent civilians including helpless women and children are killed or injured.

Afghans, though, appreciate the sacrifices of the young foreign soldiers in the war against terrorism, but they are unhappy with the killing of their family members and dear ones during these operations.

While the people are still grieved with the death of tens in the 2009 Kunduz airstrike by the German troops, the US airstrike that killed dozens of Afghan soldiers in Uruzgan and the disrespect of the dead bodies by the US soldiers in Kandahar, the new attack left 15 civilians killed in the eastern province of Nangarhar.

The attack was carried out by the US air force Wednesday in the Achin district. The attack was apparently launched to target the Islamic State militants’ strongholds, in which also, 13 more civilians were wounded, while gathering to welcome a tribal elder who had come back from the Hajj pilgrimage.

The attack was a brutal as the international organizations including the United Nations could not sit careless. “Civilian victims of the strike included students and a teacher, as well as members of families considered to be pro-government,” the UN denounced the attack.

The former government had frequently raised voice against the civilian casualties by the foreign troops. The then president Hamid Karzai had to ban the US night raids and airstrikes and eventually refused to sign the security pact with Washington.

“Daesh is killing innocent Afghan men, women and children,” the US military has said in a statement that has mentioned it takes civilian casualties allegations “very seriously”.

Afghans are asking the US military: “Who are you killing?” and the response is that civilians are killed by the two sides, one directly target them and the second “mistakenly”.

The Ashraf Ghani’s government who has allowed the US to resume airstrikes is in people’s opinion, the only responsible for the deaths of the people.

The government should not confine the issue with only a condemnation.

It has to seriously ask the US military to stop killing of civilians even mistakenly. If the US officials cannot stop it, then such operations are not needed, because people do not want to be killed by foes and friends.

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