Spike in Kandahar civilian casualties worries AIHRC
KANDAHAR CITY (Pajhwok): The year 2015 was the deadliest for civilians in southern Kandahar province, where 874 civilians suffered casualties in security incidents, officials said on Tuesday.
Up to 448 civilians, including women and children, were killed and 426 others wounded as a result of clashes, suicide attackers, roadside bombings and target killings in Kandahar in 2015,
Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) official Farhad Saqib told Pajhwok Afghan News 168 civilians were killed and 282 others wounded in roadside bombings.
Another 60 were killed and 56 injured in suicide attackers while airstrikes by foreign troops took seven civilian lives, he said, adding 14 others were wounded in last year’s air raids.
“Nine people had been killed and eight wounded by rockets that hit civilian houses in 2014. In 2015, deaths in such incidents rose 63 and injuries to 76,” the rights campaigner said.
Nineteen male, 21 women and 23 children were among the 2015 fatalities resulting from rocket strikes. Moreover, 150 people including women and children were fell victims to target killings last year.
Saqib voiced concern over the increased civilian casualties, saying the commission had been calling for minimising civilian casualties. All warring parties must pay attention to the safety of civilians, he stressed.
The main threat to civilians was posed by landmines planted by militants, said a resident of the Shamir Kala area of Maiwand district, Abdul Rahman, who lost two family members to roadside bombings.
The insurgents knew the bombs harmed mostly ordinary people, but they continued to plant the devices in utter disregard for civilian safety, he regretting, calling on both parties to the war to let people live in a peaceful environment.
Security checkpoints are located near residential areas, according to a resident of Khakrez district. Rockets fired during clashes often landed in civilian homes, he alleged.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.