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UNAMA Report Shows 23 Percent Decrease in Civilian Casualties

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(Last Updated On: April 24, 2019)

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says in a report that the number of civilian casualties from the Afghan conflicts has a 23 percent decrease compared to the same period last year.

In the first quarter of 2019, the UNAMA continued to document high levels of harm to civilians from the armed conflict. From 1 January to 31 March 2019, UNAMA documented 1,773 civilian casualties (581 deaths and 1,192 injured), including 582 child casualties (150 deaths and 432 injured), the report says.

This represents a 23 percent decrease in overall civilian casualties as compared to the same period last year and is the lowest for a first quarter since 2013, the report adds.

The overall reduction of civilian casualties was driven by a decrease in civilian casualties by suicide improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, the report notes.

UNAMA notes the particularly harsh winter conditions during the first three months of the year, which may have contributed to this trend, the report underscores.

It is unclear whether the decrease in civilian casualties was influenced by any measures taken by parties to the conflict to better protect civilians, or by the ongoing talks between parties to the conflict, the report says.

UNAMA says that the mission remains very concerned by the continued targeting of civilians and increase in civilian casualties from the use of non-suicide IEDs by Anti-Government Elements, as well as significant increases in civilian casualties from aerial and search operations, which drove an overall increase in civilian casualties by Pro-Government Forces.

Civilian deaths attributed to Pro-Government Forces surpassed those attributed to Anti-Government Elements during the first quarter of 2019, the report further says.

Between 1 January and 31 March 2019, UNAMA attributed 608 civilian casualties (305 deaths and 303 injured) to Pro-Government Forces, representing a 39 percent increase from the same period last year.

UNAMA notes with concern that Pro-Government Forces were responsible for more civilian deaths than Anti-Government Elements during the first quarter of 2019. UNAMA attributed 17 percent of civilian casualties to the Afghan national security forces, 13 percent to international military forces, two percent to pro-Government armed groups, and two percent to multiple Pro-Government Forces.

Between 1 January and 31 March 2019, UNAMA recorded 18 incidents that impacted education, 4 12 of which were attributed to Anti-Government Elements, four to Pro-Government Forces, and two jointly to Anti-Government Elements and Pro-Government Forces. Four of these incidents involved attacks by Taliban targeting girls’ schools in Farah province, mostly in areas under their control, including setting the school buildings and equipment on fire. While no casualties were recorded, the attacks spread fear among the students and their families and led to school closures, affecting education for almost 3000 girls.

During the first three months of 2019, Anti-Government Elements remained responsible for the majority of civilian casualties, causing 963 civilian casualties (227 deaths and 736 injured), representing a 36 percent decrease as compared to the same time period in 2018, the report adds.

According to the report, UNAMA attributed 39 percent of civilian casualties to Taliban, 12 percent to Daesh and three percent to unidentified Anti-Government Elements.

UNAMA remains seriously concerned about Anti-Government Element attacks that deliberately target civilians, including the civilian government administration.

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Ghani orders establishment of new council to empower Afghan women

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2020)

President Ashraf Ghani on Thursday signed a decree to establish is High Council for Women aimed at empowering Afghan women.

“President Ashraf Ghani, in accordance with the national constitution, issued a decree to establish the Women’s High Council,” the president’s office said in a statement.

According to the statement, the Council will be led by Ghani and will focus on “women empowerment ensuring women’s rights.”

“The Council will be led by H.E the President and will focus on women empowerment, ensuring women’s rights, increasing coordination with our international partners, and better policy execution,” the statement said.

Based on the decree 26 representatives from different sectors of society will be members of the Council.

“Based on the decree, including the female deputy provincial governors, women advocates, and civil activists, 26 representatives from governmental entities and non-government organizations will be the members of the Council,” read the statement.

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Historical Takhar school gutted in blaze

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2020)

The historical Abus Osman Taloqani High School in Takhar province was believed to have been intentionally set on fire on Thursday, local officials confirmed.

Abu Osman Taloqani High School, in the provincial capital Taloqan, was destroyed in the blaze.

Currently about 3,000 students are registered at the education facility.

Footage on social media Thursday showed how chairs, desks, documents, and books inside the building were completely destroyed.

Takhar education officials have not yet commented on the incident and no group or individual has claimed responsibility for setting fire to the school.

The Taliban, however, denied any involvement in the incident, saying that the group had nothing to with the fire at the school which is located close to police and NDS headquarters in Taloqan.

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Kapisa police official killed in Taliban attack

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(Last Updated On: August 13, 2020)

Taliban militants gunned down an Afghan police official on Thursday in Parwan province, a local official confirmed.

Abdul Shayiq Shurish, a spokesman for Kapisa police told Ariana News that Suliaman, the battalion commander of Kapisa police brigade, was killed by the Taliban at around 9 a.m. Thursday in Sayad village of Parwan.

Meanwhile, a clash broke out between the Afghan forces and the insurgents in Shaker village in the Tagab district of Kapisa at around 12:30 a.m. Thursday.

Shurish said, at least two local army soldiers were killed and another one was wounded in the battle.

Four civilians including women and children were also injured in the clash, he added.

Shurish claimed that the Afghan forces have inflicted casualties on the Taliban, saying that details yet to be determined.

The Taliban yet to comment on the incidents.

It comes as the intra-Afghan talks are expected to start next week in Doha, where the government and the Taliban delegations would negotiate a political settlement for ending the conflict in the war-weary country.

The government negotiating team is expected to negotiate a comprehensive ceasefire in the first round of talks.

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