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Civilians paying steep price amid surge in violence: ICRC

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(Last Updated On: July 22, 2021)

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) said on Thursday that more than 49,500 weapon-wounded patients have received treatment and care at 416 ICRC supported health facilities across the country, including those run by Afghan Red Crescent Society.

According to a statement, the ICRC said this equates to on average 270 people every day.

The organization also said Afghanistan is among “the deadliest places in the world to be a civilian” and women and children make up nearly half of all civilian casualties. .

The ICRC said in Kandahar alone, at the ICRC supported Mirwais Regional Hospital, 2,366 weapon-wounded patients have been treated during the first half of this year – more than double the number of patients during the same period last year.

In addition, the ICRC’s physical rehabilitation and limb-fitting services registered more than 7,130 new patients in the same period, an average of 40 people every day.

“The ICRC is appealing to all parties to the conflict to do more to protect civilians from harm. The intensification of conflict related violence, growing insecurity, destruction of water or electricity infrastructures, lack of access, attacks on health facilities and health workers, are among the main issues affecting the lives of Afghans,” said Eloi Fillion, the ICRC’s head of delegation in Afghanistan.

“More than four decades of armed conflict in Afghanistan have all but decimated its health care system. With COVID-19 adding yet another deadly threat, access to health care is among the most pressing humanitarian needs everywhere in the country, regardless of the political affiliation,” said Fillion.

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) is committed to working in Afghanistan to deliver urgently needed humanitarian aid for people affected by the armed conflict, the statement read.

Afghanistan Independent Human Right Commission (AIHRC), meanwhile, voiced concern about the civilian casualty toll and urged warning sides to abide by the rules of engagement.

“We call on warning sides to abide by the laws of war and try their best to avoid harming civilians,” said Zabihullah Farhang, spokesman for the AIHRC.

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ANDSF to launch offensives in north to retake fallen districts

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(Last Updated On: July 27, 2021)

The Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) are expected to start offensives in Balkh province and across the country to retake fallen districts and areas, said Bismillah Mohammadi, acting minister of defense on Tuesday during a trip to Balkh.

According to Mohammadi, if the Taliban think they can win militarily, they are wrong.

“Hopefully we will witness our offensives across Afghanistan and we will recapture areas one after another,” said Mohammadi.

He also praised ANDSF for their achievements in Balkh, Samangan and Herat provinces.

“It is our obligation to defend the country until our last breath. We assure people that yesterday Kaldar was recaptured and earlier one district in Herat was recaptured,” said Mohammadi.

The acting minister of defense said that people, especially youths, stand by the ANDSF to defend the country.

“When I assessed the situation in Mazar, I saw that most people who stand by ANDSF were youths. Not only in the north but in all Afghanistan, uprising forces were established to defend people,” added Mohammadi.

During his visit to Balkh, Mohammadi also met Afghan army soldiers.

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Well known Afghan comedian gunned down in Kandahar

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(Last Updated On: July 27, 2021)

A well-known local comedian, Nazar Mohammad, who was known as Khasha Jawan, was gunned down on Tuesday, allegedly by the Taliban, in Kandahar, sparking widespread condemnation.

According to sources, Khasha Jawan was assaulted by the militants before being killed.

He was allegedly then dragged out of his house, with his hands tied behind his back and his body dumped in the Dand district of Kandahar.

A video doing its rounds on social media shows the militants assaulting Khasha Jawan before killing him.

Vice President Amrullah Saleh wrote on his Facebook page that Khasha Jawan was executed by the Taliban in a “kangaroo court.”

“Footage of the moments before the execution of Khasha Jawan Kandahari in a kangaroo court shows that the Taliban does not abide by Sharia; they have no court, no law, and no humanity,” Saleh said.

Meanwhile, the Ministry of Culture and Information stated that Khasha Jawan sent out strong messages through “art and allegory” to the people.

Waheed Omer, Director General at the Office of Public and Strategic Affairs of the Afghan government, stated: “Footage of Taliban killing a bound local comedian in Kandahar is a drop [in the ocean compared to] the massacre campaign that the Taliban has waged across Afghanistan.”

“Please don’t look the other way. Raise your voice on whatever stage that you have access to. These savages are after rooting our people out,” Omer tweeted.

The Taliban, however, stated that Nazar Mohammad was a member of the Afghan security forces.

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Taliban negotiating team member’s son killed in clashes in Afghanistan

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(Last Updated On: July 27, 2021)

Anas Haqqani, a member of the Taliban’s negotiating team, confirmed Tuesday that the son of Mohammad Nabi Omari, a member of the Taliban leadership and negotiating team, was killed in a battle with government forces.

In a tweet, Haqqani confirmed the killing of Omari. But he did not give any further details.

The Afghan government also confirmed that Abdul Haq Omari, who was the deputy chief of the Taliban military wing in Paktia province, was killed in a clash with Special Forces.

Meanwhile, Shaheen 209th Military Corps claims that a Pakistani army officer Javed was killed by NDS forces.

According to the Corps, he was a serving Pakistani army officer and was leading the Taliban in Logar, Paktia, and Paktika provinces and was killed on Tuesday morning in an operation by NDS 01 unit.

The Corps also said that a commander of tactical training and head of the Taliban Red Unit in Faryab province, along with seven of his fighters was killed.

“Qari Hayatullah, known as Osama, the head of the Taliban’s red unit and commander of the Taliban’s tactical and terrorist training for Faryab province, was killed Monday afternoon in a joint operation by defense and security forces in the village of Deh Azizan in the Sabz area of Pashtun Kot district,” read the statement.

During the operation nine other members of the group were wounded, the Corps added.

The Taliban has not commented yet.

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