The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in a statement mirroring the one by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said the Afghan security forces were responsible for the rocket attack that killed at least 27 civilians in Helmand’s Sangin district.
AIHRC’s findings indicate that the Afghan security forces, while responding to a Taliban attack, fired rockets which hit the market in Sangin on Monday.
UNAMA too said, that their initial findings, citing “multiple credible sources” indicated that the Afghan National Army fired the lethal mortars “in response to Taliban fire” but missed the intended target.
Both organisations urged the Afghan government to initiate a transparent investigation into the attack.
UNAMA also asked both parties to “stop fighting in civilian-populated areas” and said the final casualties of the rocket attack are yet to be verified.
While AIHRC puts the casualties at 27 dead and 35 wounded, UNAMA’s last count was 28 killed and 14 injured.
The army has said they are willing to assist the investigation team.
This comes as the AIHRC in a press release said that 41 civilians were killed and 47 others injured in different provinces of Afghanistan from June 25 to 29.
National Security Council (NSC) spokesperson Javid Faisal also accused the Taliban of killing and wounding 24 civilians per day in Afghanistan since the signing of the Doha peace deal in February.
The European Union (EU) ambassadors in Kabul also said they were “deeply concerned” about the escalation in violence and called for an immediate humanitarian ceasefire.
They called the spike in violence “unacceptable” and asked for the enforcement of a full-fledged ceasefire so that the intra-Afghan peace talks could start.
“These attacks are unacceptable. The killing must stop. Afghans deserve to live in dignity, safety, and peace,” said the U.S. Chargé d’Affaires to Afghanistan Ross Wilson as he condemned the “mass murder” of civilians in Sangin.