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Nearly 30,000 civilians killed in past decade

Graphic: AIHRC logo

The AIHRC report said that the high number of civilian casualties “indicate all sides’ failure to comply with international humanitarian law”.

The Afghanistan Human Rights Commission has called on all parties to the ongoing conflict to respect international law after its latest report revealed that 28,979 civilians had been killed in the past decade.

The report found a further 57,844 civilians, including women and children, had been injured in the past ten years.

The report said that the high number of civilian casualties "indicate all sides' failure to comply with international humanitarian law".

The AIHRC reported that 2019 was a "deadly year" for Afghan civilians.

"Despite the 'peace talks' going on, there was unprecedented violence in the first three quarters of 2019 and many civilians were harmed," the AIHRC said.

Graphic: Kabul, Afghanistan

A total of 2,817 people were killed and 7,955 injured in 2019, comprising 6,845 men, 974 women, and 2,696 children among the casualties. The AIHRC was unable to confirm the gender of 257 casualties.

Roadside bombs, suicide attacks, ground battles, rocket fire, airstrikes and night raids were the major causes of civilian deaths, according to the AIHRC.

"The Taliban is responsible for 71 percent of all civilian casualties in 2019. Daesh is responsible for five percent, while Afghan and international forces are responsible for 14 percent of civilian casualties," the report said, noting that the perpetrators of nine percent of civilian casualties were unknown.

Journalists have also been targeted in the conflict, the AIHRC reported, with 10 killed and 21 injured during 2019.

The AIHRC calls on all warring parties – the Government of Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, international forces, the Taliban and other opposition groups – to abide by International Humanitarian Law.

"According to International Humanitarian Law, intentional killing or harming of civilians are examples of war crime," the AIHRC said.

"Any violation of these rules puts responsibility on those who violate the rules and will be legally prosecuted and put on trial."

"Peace is the urgent need of the Afghan people", the Commission wrote.

"The conflicting parties are called to begin intra-Afghan dialogue as soon as possible and to establish a cease-fire, taking into consideration the maintenance of justice and human rights protection of the citizens."

Date: 5 February 2020

Source: Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

Image credits

  1. AIHRC logo - AIHRC
  2. Kabul, Afghanistan - Farin Sadiq on Shutterstock