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Afghan civilian casualties grow following withdrawal by US-led forces

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan reached a record level since the start of the withdrawal of international forces, with an unprecedented number of children Another women among victims

Fears As fighting moves from rural to urban areas and deaths and injuries increase alarmingly, the carnage will get worse – even by brutal standards countryRussian conflict – more and more questions are raised about the price Afghans pay for the president Joe BidenThe decision on a hasty withdrawal of troops, followed by an offensive operation by the Taliban, which captured some territories.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) found that in May and June, following the start of the US-led withdrawal, 783 people were killed and another 1,609 injured.

In the previous four months, 876 people died and 1,915 were injured. Of this total, 468 children were killed and 1,214 injured; 219 women were killed and 508 were injured.

The UN report says: “It is particularly shocking and deeply concerning that women, boys and girls accounted for nearly half of all civilian casualties in the first half of 2021. It is regrettable to report that more women and more children have been killed and injured. than ever previously recorded by UNAMA in the first half of any calendar year.

“Most of the fighting in the deadliest months of May and June took place outside cities, in areas with relatively low populations.

“The UN is seriously concerned that if intense military action is taken in densely populated urban areas, the consequences for Afghan civilians could be catastrophic.”

The Afghan government has imposed nighttime curfews on much of the country over the weekend in an attempt to stop insurgent infiltration into cities. Kabul and a number of other regions have been excluded for now.

The Taliban were blamed for 64 percent of the killings and injuries, with ISIS being held responsible for 9 percent. Sixteen percent was distributed among the “undefined” Islamists.

Government forces, Allied militias and others were found guilty of other casualties and deaths. As a sign of the “Afghan” war, international troops were not named as part of the troops.

The report notes that the Taliban and other rebel groups continued shelling and shooting of civilians, as well as deliberate attacks on children.

An attack on Sayyed ul-Shuhud’s school in Kabul in May, as US-led troops began to withdraw, resulted in 300 casualties, 85 of whom were killed, mostly schoolgirls. Deadly attacks by sectarians have increased as a result of repeated attacks on the Hazara and wider Shia communities.

Afghans gather at the blast site

(EPA)

Deborah Lyons, Special Representative of Secretary General António Guterres for Afghanistan, said: “I implore the Taliban and Afghan leaders to take into account the grim and frightening trajectory of the conflict and its devastating impact on civilians. The report clearly warns that an unprecedented number of Afghan civilians will die and be maimed this year if the rise in violence is not halted. ”

In Qatar, talks will resume between the Afghan government and the Taliban. However, Western and Afghan diplomatic sources say the Taliban are seeking to impose conditions that would mean an effective surrender of power.

Suhail Shahin, a Taliban spokesman and a member of the group’s negotiating team in Doha, said there could be no peace until there were changes in the Afghan government, including the departure of President Ashraf Ghani.

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