Civilian casualties on the rise in Helmand conflict: official
LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Civilian casualties have been on the rise in the latest conflict in southern Helmand province, a human rights official said on Sunday.
Afghanistan Human Rights Commission head for Helmand Bilal Ahmad Sediqi told a press conference here that the civilian casualties had increased this solar year in Helmand as a result of the continued armed conflict.
Since the start of the solar year (March 22), 21 civilians have been killed and 300 others wounded in various incidents of violence, he said, adding the dead included three children, one woman and 17 men.
The official said the injured included 196 children, 66 women and 37 men. “The initial figures of civilian casualties this year are concerning,” Sediqi said, urging all parties to the conflict to take care of civilians’ safely during their operations.
The governor’s spokesman, Omar Zwak, said the civilian casualty ratio was likely to have increased in the province. He said most the civilians suffered casualties in roadside bombings planted by the insurgents. He said security forces had been directed to avoid operations in congested areas.
The conflict in Helmand last year left nearly 1000 civilians dead and wounded. Currently Helmand is the most insecure province of Afghanistan where clashes in the provincial capital, Lashkargah, and Greshk and Nad Ali districts are underway.
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