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Human Rights Watch blames foreign troops for increasing Afghan civilian casualties

AT News

KABUL: The Human Rights Watch says of an increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan in last year, blaming Afghan and foreign forces for causing the increase.

The organization said Wednesday in a report that that the 2019 Afghan civilian casualties was unprecedented, adding that 8,000 people were killed and injured from January 1 to September 30.

The report says that night raids and airstrikes launched jointly by the Afghan and foreign forces on Afghan villages enhanced the casualties. It said that none of the war parties observe human rights and war laws. The report said of war crimes in Afghan conflicts.

The New York based organization called the 2019 Afghan civilian casualties as “shocking”.

“In 2019, besides Taliban, Afghan and foreign forces increased operations. These operations killed and wounded 8,000 civilians from January 1st to September 30th most of them were the victims of night raids and airstrikes by the Afghan and foreign forces,” the report said, adding that tens of women and children were among the dead and wounded.

The report said that the war parties trampled international laws and committed war crimes in some cases.

It said that in the first half of last year, 1,000 civilians were killed and injured across Afghanistan, showing a 45 per cent increase. According to report, 100 children were killed during this period of time. 40 civilians were killed in a foreign airstrike on September 23 last year in the Musa Qala district of Helmand province in the south.

President Ghani’s office rejected the report of civilian casualties by government forces, saying that based on president’s order, security forces do their best to prevent civilian casualties during operations.

But the lawmakers accuse both Afghan and foreign forces of “intentionally” targeting civilians.

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