Parties to the conflict in Afghanistan killed and injured more than 10,000 civilians in 2019, according to a new United Nations report that describes continuing record-high levels of civilian harm in the ongoing conflict, said UNAMA in a statement on February 22.
Based on the report, in 2019, 3,403 civilians were killed and 6,989 injured, with the majority of the civilian casualties inflicted by anti-government elements. It is the sixth year in a row that the number of civilian casualties has exceeded 10,000.
After more than a decade of systematically documenting the impact of the war on civilians, the UN found that in 2019 the number of civilian casualties had surpassed 100,000.
“Almost no civilians in Afghanistan have escaped being personally affected in some way by the ongoing violence,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
“It is absolutely imperative for all parties to seize the moment to stop the fighting, as peace is long overdue; civilian lives must be protected and efforts for peace are underway.”
However, the Taliban has denied in a tweet its involvement in civilians casualties, saying that most of the casualties have been inflicted the Afghan and US forces during ground and air operations.
Meanwhile, a seven-day reduction in violence has been declared today. According to the plan the Taliban militants would not carry out attacks against the Afghan and foreign forces and vise versa the Afghan and foreign forces will also hold operations against the group.
The Taliban Spokesperson Zabiullah Mujahid tweeted that centers of all provinces, military corps headquarters, battalions, and squads, as well as foreigner’s bases, are included in paving a sound ground for the agreement.
“Apart from the areas mentioned, any firing and/or attack of the Taliban shall not be considered as a violation, because this is not an overall ceasefire,” he said.