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Afghan Forces’ Raid on Taliban Allegedly Kills Dozens of Civilians

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(Last Updated On: September 23, 2019)

At least 40 people were killed and 10 others wounded as a result of Afghan Special Forces raid on Taliban fighters in southern Helmand province of Afghanistan, officials said on Monday.

The operation was conducted on Sunday night in Musa Qala district of Helmand which is under control of Taliban militants.

There were conflicting reports on the number of people killed and wounded in the operation and about their identities.

The Afghan Ministry of Defense said in a statement that 22 foreign militants were killed and 14 militants including five Pakistani nationals and a national of Bangladesh were arrested during an operation conducted in the area against the Taliban insurgents.

A huge ammunition cache of the group were also destroyed during the operation, the statement added.

The defense ministry further said that it will investigate claims of civilian casualties and will share the result with the people.

However, two officials from Helmand provincial council said the attack has targeted a wedding party and has left casualties to civilians including women and children.

“As a result of the operation 10 wounded people were taken to the emergency hospital and nearly 40 people including women and children are dead,” said Abdul Majid Akhundzada, a member of Helmand provincial council.

Meanwhile, provincial governor spokesman Omar Zwak said that 14 Taliban militants including foreign al-Qaeda members were killed in the operation conducted by Special Forces.

At the same time, a spokesman for NATO’s Resolute Support said on Monday that the Taliban claiming civilian casualties appears to be more propaganda. He also rejected the notion of a wedding party but said they are “still assessing the other claims of civilian casualties”.

Helmand is among the volatile provinces in south of Afghanistan where the Taliban insurgent groups are actively operating in a number of its districts including Musa Qala.

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Ghani meets with top US general to discuss peace process

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(Last Updated On: July 15, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani met with US Central Command chief, General Kenneth F. McKenzie on Tuesday in Kabul for talks on security issues. 

According to the Presidential Palace, ARG, Ghani, and McKenzie discussed the peace process, the security situation, support for the Afghan security and defense forces and strengthening of the joint security partnership.

McKenzie also reassured Ghani of the US’s continued support and cooperation.

“I am here to reassure you and the people of Afghanistan that the support and cooperation of the United States is in place for the peace, development, and security of Afghanistan, and we will continue to support you,” he said.

He also said the US would not let Afghanistan become a safe haven for insurgent groups.

This comes after McKenzie said in June that the US military was ahead of a timetable to bring the total number of troops in Afghanistan down to about 8,600, as negotiated with the Taliban.

However, he said he did not see the second part of the drawdown schedule being on time.

He said at the time: “We also agreed that in May of 2021, if conditions will allow, we’re prepared to go to zero,” adding that those conditions would depend on whether the US could be assured that attacks against the United States will not be generated in Afghanistan.

“Frankly, if you were to ask me my opinion, those conditions have not been fully met. So we’ll continue to work that,” McKenzie said last month.

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COVID-19

135 new Coronavirus cases registered – Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The Ministry of Public Health says that in the last twenty-four hours, 135 positive cases of Coronavirus have been registered in the whole country, with Kabul having the highest number of cases of Covid-19 with 51 people.

Coronavirus cases are declining in Afghanistan. However, the number of patients in the country is still in the triple digits.

 According to the statistics of the Ministry of Health, 135 positive cases of Coronavirus have been registered in the country in the last 24 hours, of which 51 were in Kabul, 37 in Herat, 16 in Ghor, nine in Logar, nine in Balkh, four in Kunduz, three in Baghlan, three in Laghman, two in Takhar and one in Kunar have been infected with the Coronavirus.

The Ministry of Health has said that with the registration of these cases, the total number of people infected with the coronavirus in Afghanistan has reached 34,740.

“Over the past 24 hours, 135 positive cases of the coronavirus have been identified in Afghanistan,” said Masoumah Jafari, deputy spokeswoman for the Ministry of Health.

The ministry added that 24 people had died in the past 24 hours and that the death toll from the Coronavirus had risen to 1,062.

According to the Ministry of Health, in the past 24 hours, 279 people with the Coronavirus have recovered and the number of recoveries has reached 21,454.

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Around 3,000 civilians casualties in six months: AIHRC

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(Last Updated On: July 14, 2020)

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said in its six-month report that 1,213 Afghan civilians were killed and 1,744 were injured in the first six months of 2020. These casualties were reported in 880 incidents.

The Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) said that the death toll was up 19 percent from last year. In the first six months of this year, an average of 16 civilians killed every day, according to the report.

According to the Afghan Human Rights Commission, 31 percent of all civilian casualties were in targeted assassinations, 26 percent as a result of landmine and car bombings, and 11.7 percent in suicide attacks, 11.5 percent in ground warfare, as well as airstrikes and night operations.

533 killed and 412 wounded as a result of targeted assassinations.

A total of 259 civilians were killed and at least 507 were injured when mines and car bombs exploded. Civilian casualties in these types of incidents show a seven percent increase compared to the same time last year.

According to the report, the number of female deaths in the first six months of 2020 has decreased by 0.5 percent compared to the first half of 2019.

“In 2020, a total of 378 civilians were victims of rocket attacks, including 117 deaths and 261 injuries,” said Naeem Nazari, deputy director of the Human Rights Commission. “The number of civilian casualties from rocket attacks is 47% lower than in the first half of last year.”

According to the findings of the Human Rights Commission, of the total civilian casualties in the first six months of 2020, 48.5% were caused by the Taliban, 26.7% by unknown perpetrators, 15.5% by government forces, and 6.3% by ISIS, 2.3 percent were carried out by international forces, and the rest were casualties from rocket fire by Pakistani forces in Kunar, Kandahar, Paktia and Khost provinces.

The Ministry of Interior does not reject the possibility of civilian casualties but says police have worked to prevent civilian casualties during the war.

The Afghan Human Rights Commission urges the war parties in Afghanistan to respect the international humanitarian law treaties, not to harm civilians during armed conflict, and to immediately start peace talks by establishing a ceasefire.

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