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Wardak officials warn to boycott polls amid increasing civilian killings

AT News Report

KABUL: Some inhabitants and officials of central MaidanWardak province on Sunday warned if the ongoingbloody spell of civilian casualties wasn’t brought to a halt, they would boycott the government and forthcoming polls.

Some provincial council members and Wardak tribal eldersin a gathering said herethat there had been a hike in the airstrikes and nightly operations conducted by the government which continually hurt and targetedcivilians. They said such a situation was unbearable and demanded an end to it.

The gathering was also attended by those victims whose homes were raided by Afghan and foreign forces and thus they lost their family members. They called for investigations into those incidents, saying the government should listen to their voice.

In a resolution letter released after the gathering, they said if the air raids and overnight offensives didn’t stop, they would turn their backs on the government and boycott the upcoming presidential elections, as well as closed down the Kabul-Kandahar highway for traffic.

According to them, though they have shared some documents regarding the problem with the National Directorate of Security (NDS) and the Presidential Palace, the causalities have increased instead of decreasing.

“In the recent months, almost every day civilian causalities are being reported which are mainly caused by overnight airstrikes,” said a resident of MaidanWardak province.

Moreover, the MaidanWardak residents also asked the Taliban to transfer their strongholds from their villages so that the civilians didn’t get caught in crossfires.

However, the Ministry of Defense (MoD) said that the government forces were trying to reduce the civilian casualties caused uring military operations to zero.

“Strong efforts are taking place to prevent hurting civilians. We will investigate the complaints regarding the civilian causalities,” said FawadAman, the Deputy Spokesperson of MoD.

This comes as civilians have recentlysuffered casualties as a result of an airstrike conducted in MaidanWardak Province. 

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