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3,000 people suffered casualties in May attacks

3,000 people suffered casualties in May attacks

Jun 05, 2017 - 21:15

KABUL (Pajhwok): Around 1449 people were killed and 1550 others wounded in 205 attacks across Afghanistan in May, with one-fifth of the assaults happening in Kabul.

The statistics indicate a 58 percent increase in attacks and a 39 percent spike in casualties in May, compared to the previous month.

Based on different sources of information, Pajhwok reports show the insurgents carried out armed attacks in 29 of the country’s 34 provinces last month.

During the month, 102 face-to-face clashes, 40 targeted attacks, 22 airstrikes, 32 explosions and nine suicide attacks took place.

Of every 19 casualties, 10 resulted from direct engagements, two from airstrikes, five from suicide assaults and one from targeted attacks and blasts.

Pajhwok reports show 31 or most of the attacks in May occurred in Nangarhar, followed by Kandahar where 26 attacks took place. There were 12 attacks in each Farah, Faryab and Helmand provinces, 10 in each Ghazni and Herat provinces, nine in each Logar and Uruzgan provinces, seven in Zabul, and six in each Badakhshan, Kabul and Kunar provinces.

Five attacks happened each in Laghman and Maidan Wardak provinces, four each in Jawzjan and Kunduz, three each in Badghist, Baghlan, Khost, Paktia, Paktika, Parwan, Samangan and Tahkar, two each in Balkh, Ghor and Kapisa and one in Sar-I-Pul.

Pajhwok received no report of violence from Daikundi, Bamyan, Nimroz, Nuristan and Panjsher provinces in May and April.

A Wolesi Jirga member, Abdul Jabbar Qahraman, believed the high number of attacks in Nangarhar province could be linked to the presence of both Taliban and Daesh (Islamic State (IS) militants there.

Another reason may be that Nangarhar shares a border with Pakistan. Militants on both sides could cross the Durand Line, the public representative argued.

The legislator accused the Pakistan government of supporting militant groups in Afghanistan. He claimed Pakistan could easily assist militants in the Afghan provinces bordering that country.


Reports show 97 people suffered casualties daily or four people suffered casualties every hour during the month. At least 1,449 people were killed and another 1,550 were wounded in 205 attacks last month.

The victims included militants, Afghan forces and civilians. But Pajhwok does not release exact casualty figures because different sources provide different accounts.

Most of the attacks took place on May 16, but the deadliest day was May 31 when 569 people were killed and wounded. To be specific, 90 people were killed and 460 others wounded in a truck suicide bombing in the Wazir Akbar Khan diplomatic quarter.

Also a defence analyst, Qahraman sees many factors behind the war in Afghanistan. With the available resources, he said, the government was unable to control the situation.

He said the government needed to improve the capacity of its military, particularly intelligence network, so it could thwart attacks like the one in Kabul and other parts of the country before they were executed.

After Kabul, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Uruzgan witnessed the second highest number of casualties. The smallest number of incidents took place in Sar-i-Pul, Parwan and Balkh provinces.

On average, 15 people were killed or wounded in each attack in May compared to 17 in each incident during April.

Qahraman said a fierce guerilla and intelligence war was ongoing in Afghanistan. The rise and fall in casualties was tied to fighting tactics, he maintained.

A Pajhwok report says October was the deadliest month of 2016, but the fatality rate had been on the decline since December. Casualties once again increased after December, 2016.

Dawlat Waziri, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense (MoD), acknowledged an uptick in fighting and casualties.

Asked how long the casualties would continue to rise or how the violence in Afghanistan could be curbed, he responded the secrutiy forces were confidently fighting against militant groups but pressure on Pakistan was essential to stop backing rebel groups.

 “The international community, particularly the United States, should pressure the states, particularly Pakistan, that are aiding militants in Afghanistan. Pakistan is obviously providing safe havens for the militants fighting in Afghanistan,” Waziri claimed.

He added the global fraternity, including the Muslim world, should raise their voice for peace in Afghanistan and take practical steps in the regard.

Waziri told the Taliban the war offered no solution and that was why should follow in the footsteps of Gulbadin Hekmatyar, leader of Hezb-i-Islami Afghanistan (HIA) who has signed a peace deal with the Ghani administration. He said the Taliban should stop killing Afghans and work for the development of the country.

Abdul Jabbar Qahraman asked the Afghans to stand united for peace. With one voice, he suggested, the Afghans should ask the International community, the United Nations and the Organisation of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) to either help them achieve peace or kill them all at a time to rescue them death on a daily basis.

Agree on peace

This is also the voice of those who lost their near and dear ones to the war. Zabihullah, 11, is a resident of the Dokan village of Pushtrod district in western Farah province. His father was killed in a roadside bombing. He wants the warring parties to stop fighting and make peace.

Forced to support an eight-member family at this tender age, he desires peace and hates. He does not want more children to be orphaned like him.

Ahmad Zubair, hailing from central Parwan province, is another teenager who lost his father to a suicide attack while teaching. He is yearning for peace and stability in the country.

The 18-year-old said he was worried about daily atrocities, suicide bombings, killings and attacks. The young man fears he would also lose his life one day to a similar incident.

Abdul Qadir Munsef


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