Publish dateThursday 29 November 2018 - 19:59
Story Code : 174992
Rights Body Ask Afghan, Foreign Forces To Protect Civilians
Helmand civil society activists said civilian casualties must stop; otherwise, they said people will protest against it.

Expressing deep regret that civilians continue to account for the vast majority of casualties in conflicts between government forces and insurgents, the Independent Human Rights Commission of Afghanistan (AIHRC) on Thursday called on the Afghan government and foreign forces to cooperate in using the most effective methods during clashes to make sure that civilian casualties are prevented.
Civilian casualties have unprecedently increased in the country over the past two weeks following a number of airstrikes and night raids in various regions in Nangarhar, Parwan, Logar, Maidan Wardak and Helmand provinces.
In a recent incident on Tuesday, at least 30 civilians were reportedly killed as a result of a joint airstrike by Afghan and foreign forces in Garmsir district in southern Helmand province. 
“Civilian casualties need to stop immediately; otherwise, people will protest against it,” said Hajji Mohammad Nikmal, a civil society activist in Helmand.
“We recorded 1,950 casualties in Helmand in the past eight months. From the figure, 62 people have lost their lives,” said Muqim Alizai, head of the AIHRC office in Helmand.
“We wait to see the Afghan government to implement what they are expected to do as their part regarding the attacks which are carried out by government. Although, the Taliban share 53 percent of casualties, Daesh 19 percent and government 8.3 percent, but still it is concerning,” said Musa Mahmoudi, member of the human rights commission.          
In reference to the airstrike in Helmand, officials from the Ministry of Defense said that in most cases, militants use civilian population as a shield. 
“Sometimes civilians are harmed when militants use people’s houses as shield. A delegation has been assigned to run a thorough investigation into the incident,” said Ghafoor Ahmad Jawed, a spokesman for the Defense Ministry. 
Based on the AIHRC statistics, 5,985 civilians have been killed and wounded in armed conflicts between warring sides over the past six months with women and children also among the victims.
Source : Tolo News
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