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Sharp increase in civilian casualties this year: UNAMA Report

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(Last Updated On: April 14, 2021)

UNAMA has found that the number of civilians killed and injured in the first three months of 2021 was significantly higher than a year ago.

In its first quarter report on the Afghanistan Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict 2021, UNAMA stated that 1,783 civilian casualties (573 killed and 1,210 injured) were recorded in the first three months of this year – a 29 percent increase against the same period last year.

UNAMA stated that extraordinary levels of harm inflicted on civilians in the Afghan conflict continues unabated and that “of particular concern is the 37 percent increase in the number of women killed and injured, and a 23 percent increase in child casualties compared with the first quarter of 2020”.

Deborah Lyons, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan said: “The number of Afghan civilians killed and maimed, especially women and children, is deeply disturbing. I implore the parties to urgently find a way to stop this violence.”

UNAMA stated that the start of peace talks in September last year raised hopes for an improvement in the situation for civilians but in the six months between October 2020 and March 2021, UNAMA recorded a 38 percent increase in civilian casualties compared with the same period one year earlier.

“Every possible opportunity for peace must be seized. If levels of violence are not immediately reduced, thousands of Afghan civilians will continue to be killed and injured by fellow Afghans in 2021,” said Lyons, who is also head of UNAMA.

The overall increase in civilian casualties in the first quarter of 2021 was mainly driven by the same trends that caused the increase at the end of last year: ground engagements; improvised explosive devices; and targeted killings, UNAMA stated.

Anti-Government Elements continued to be responsible for the majority (61 percent) of all civilian casualties in the first three months of 2021, while Pro-Government Forces continued to cause approximately one quarter (27 percent) of the total civilian casualties.

In the first three months of 2021, UNAMA documented increases in the number of civilian casualties as compared to the first quarter of 2020, attributed to both the Afghan National Army, and the Taliban, with the Taliban responsible for 43.5 percent of all civilian casualties, and the Afghan National Army responsible for 17 percent.

UNAMA also stated it remains deeply concerned about the continued deliberate targeting of civilians by Anti-Government Elements, particularly through targeted killings – against civilians including media workers, civil society activists, members of the judiciary and the civilian government administration, including a particularly worrying trend of targeting of women.

“UNAMA reminds Anti-Government Elements that the deliberate targeting of civilians is prohibited under international law and constitutes a war crime. The mission urges Anti-Government Elements to apply a definition of civilian that accords with international law and to immediately cease all targeting of civilians,” the report read.

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Thirty Allied Chiefs of Defence discuss the changing nature of warfare

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(Last Updated On: September 20, 2021)

NATO’s thirty Chiefs of Defence gathered in Athens, Greece on Sunday for the fall session of the Military Committee Conference 2021.

The agenda for the Conference was challenging but necessary so that the Military Committee could provide guidance to the Strategic Commanders and advice to the NATO Secretary General and the North Atlantic Council.

According to a statement issued by NATO, discussions focused on NATO-led operations, missions and activities and the threats and challenges facing NATO.

The Chiefs of Defence exchanged views on the military input to the Alliance’s lessons learnt process that will evaluate the Alliance’s engagement in Afghanistan, the statement read.

The Chiefs of Defence discussed enduring threats and peacetime challenges. They stressed how the geopolitical environment was changing and the line between peace and crisis was increasingly blurred. The Military Committee then deliberated the changing nature of warfare and how the Alliance needs to maintain pace with the speed of technological change.

The final meeting of the day saw the Chiefs of Defence nominate Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak as the next Director General of the International Military Staff. Lieutenant General Janusz Adamczak from Poland will take office in the summer of 2022.

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3 national snooker team players off to good start in world champs

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Afghanistan’s National Snooker Team has gotten off to a good start in this year’s Six-Red World Championships in Doha, Qatar.

National team member Raees Khan Sindzai won his first match against his opponent from Ukraine ending with a score of 5-4.

Sindzai also defeated his Iraqi rival 5-4 in his second match and his next game will be against Bahrain.

Saleh Mohammad Mohammadi, another Afghan team member, beat his Egyptian rival 5-0 but lost his second match to his Belgian opponent, 4-5.

His third game will be against Palestine.

The Six-Red World Championships comes just days after the three team members took part in the Asian Snooker Championships, which were also held in Doha.

The tournaments are part of three major billiards and snooker events – including the GCC Billiards and Snooker tournament – organised by the Qatar Billiards and Snooker Federation.

It is the first time a country hosts these three major championships in succession, separated by only a few days.

The competitions started with the Asian championship from September 12 to 16, then the Six-Red World Championship from September 17 to 21. This championship will be followed by the GCC Billiards and Snooker Championship from September 22 to 28.

President of the International Snooker Federation and Executive Director of the Qatar Federation, Mubarak Al Khayarin, described Qatar’s hosting of the World and Asian Championships as a great challenge, especially after stopping nearly two years of activity due to the repercussions of the continuing outbreak of the coronavirus pandemic, Qatar’s The Peninsula reported.

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Three brothers killed in Paktia in dispute over land

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(Last Updated On: September 19, 2021)

Three members of one family were killed and one more wounded in a clash in eastern Paktia province, local officials said Sunday.

According to Islamic Emirate officials, the clash happened between two families in Shakar Khel village in Gardez city, the provincial capital, on Saturday evening.

The incident happened after an argument broke out over a land dispute between the two sides, the officials said.

The officials stated that all the victims were brothers.

Mawlawi Hemat, police chief of Gardez PD1, stated that three members of one family have been arrested in connection with the incident.

He said Islamic Emirate forces are investigating and hope to arrest the other culprits.

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