TOLOnews.com, December 31, 2017
1900 Civilians Killed and Wounded in Helmand province in One Year
Local officials in the province have blamed the Taliban for most of the fatalities among the civilians
By Abdullah Achakzai
The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Sunday said that over 1900 civilians have been killed or wounded in the southern province of Helmand last year.
All the victims were killed or wounded as a result of the war, including explosions and terror attacks, AIHRC site office in Helmand said in a statement on Sunday.
Meanwhile residents in Helmand have called on the warring factions to ensure the security and safety of civilians during the conflict.
From the figures, over 200 civilians killed and 1700 others were wounded, said the AIHRC site office.
“Helmand has had two bloody years. The number of civilian casualties, among them women and children, have been higher and we are very concerned about it,” said Afifa Maroof, AIHRC site office chief in Helmand.
“Both sides have used civilian homes as shields. Civilian casualties have been on the rise because the warring sides do not respect the rules of war,” said a civil society activist in Helmand Nazar Mohmammad Rodai.
But, local officials in the province have blamed the Taliban for most of the fatalities among the civilians.
“Our security forces have always tried to ensure the security of the civilian population. The majority of the casualties have been inflicted by the Taliban,” said Omar Zuwak, spokesman for the governor of Helmand.
Our forces are trying to always protect the lives of civilians and they have largely been killed due to attacks by the Taliban.
The new casualty count in Helmand province comes at a time that the Afghan security forces are still tackling insurgents in the suburbs of provincial capital Lashkar Gah and some other strategic districts. The Taliban has constantly attempted to expand their insurgency in key areas of the province.
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