AIHRC: 2,957 Civilians Killed, Wounded In 880 Security Incidents In 2020

In the first six months of 2020, a total of 2,957 civilians were killed and wounded, with Taliban responsible for the majority of the incidents, reported an investigation by the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Tuesday.

The report by their Department of Special Investigations for the casualties in armed conflict show that 1,213 civilians were killed and 1,744 were injured in 880 security incidents, with Taliban responsible for 48.5% of the attacks affecting 1,438 civilian casualties in the first six months of 2020, which resulted in 542 deaths and 896 injured.

The rights organization said, this showed that “civilian casualties from Taliban attacks have decreased by 24%” compared to the same time in 2019.

However, the AIHRC one again urged “all parties to the war in Afghanistan to heed and respect” international humanitarian law and the Geneva Conventions, since violating them will lead to “serious consequence.”

The other civilian casualties are accounted for: 26.7% by unknown perpetrators, 15.5% by government forces, 6.3% by IS-K and 2.3% by international forces. They also reported civilian casualties caused by rocket fire by Pakistani forces in Kunar, Kandahar, Paktia and Khost province.

The AIHRC found that casualties from suicide attacks had gone up by 109% – most of them claimed by IS-K. They reported that 110 people were killed in the attacks and 237 injured, which account for 11.7% of the total civilian casualties.

The majority of casualties, 31%, were systematic assassinations and targeted killings, while roadside and embedded mines accounted for 26%.

On the ground conflicts and wars saw a 66% decrease this year with 245 wounded and 82 killed, but airstrikes killed 108 people and wounded 81.

“Fortunately” civilian casualties from night operations decreased by 90% this year, AIHRC notes. Only five civilians were killed and wounded in 2020.

They also reported that under international humanitarian laws, attacks on public and private facilities are prohibited as long as they do not become a de facto military threat. This did not deter the gunmen who attacked the maternity ward of the hospital in Dasht-e-Barachi which killed 13 women, two children and a man, along with injuring 16 others.

“The government has so far failed to identify the perpetrators,” AIHCR pointed.

Attacks on media and journalists also continued from the warring parties. There were 55 reported cases of murder, wounding, beating, abduction, detention, intimidation and defamation of journalists. “Unfortunately,” AIHRC writes, this resulted in 4 deaths and 10 injuries in 2020.

Based on geographic location, the southwestern provinces reported 23% – the highest- of all the civilian casualties, which include 319 killed and 373 injured. The eastern zone followed with 19.6% (580 victims), central zone with 18.7% (554 victims), northeast zone with 11.6% (344 victims), southern zone with 9.3% (276 victims), northern zone with 9.1% (270 victims), and the western zone with 8.1% (240 victims).

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