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April saw Afghan conflict killing nearly 1,500

April saw Afghan conflict killing nearly 1,500

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On
May 06, 2017 - 10:06

KABUL (Pajhwok): Around 2,200 people suffered casualties in 130 attacks in Afghanistan in April, showing a five percent decrease in attacks but casualty rate surged by 32 percent, compared to March.

A Pajhwok reports show the insurgents carried out armed attacks in 29 provinces of the country’s total 34 in April.

There were 56 face-to-face clashes, 28 targeted attacks, 28 airstrikes, 10 explosions, five suicide attacks and three roadside bombings in April.

Among every 14 people, half were killed and the remaining half wounded in direct engagement, four in airstrikes, two in suicide attacks, and one in targeted attacks and blasts.

Pajhwok reports show 29 or most of the attacks in April occurred in Nangarhar, followed by Kandahar where 10 attacks took place.

There were six attacks each in Faryab, Ghazni, Herat, Kunduz, Paktika and Uruzgan and five each in Helmand, Jawzjan and Takhar province.

Kabul and Sar-i-Pul provinces shared four attacks each while there were three attacks each in Balkh, Laghman, Logar, Parwan and Zabul province. Two attacks each in Badakhshan, Baghlan, Kapisa, Khost, Kunar and Samangan and one each in Badghis, Farah, Ghor, Maidan Wardak and Paktia provinces.

There was no report of violence from Daikundi, Bamyan, Nimroz, Nuristan and Panjsher provinces in April. In March too Badakhshan, Balkh, Bamyan, Daikundi, Ghor, Maidan Wardak, Nuristan, Paktia, Panjsher, Kunar and Parwan provinces had been violence free.

Casualties

Reports show in total 1,447 people were killed and another 715 were wounded in 130 attacks last month.

The victims included militants, Afghan forces and civilians. Pajhwok does not publish exact casualty figure because different sources provide different accounts.

Most of the attacks took place on April 2, April 8 and April 25, when eight incidents were reported each day but the deadliest day was April 21 when 317 people were killed and wounded.

 

After Nangarhar and Balkh, Jawzjan, Herat and Uruzgan stood second in witnessing most casualties while least incidents took place in Kapisa, Parwan and Maidan Wardak provinces last month.

Balkh province, which eluded violence in March, emerged second among provinces hit by deadliest attacks after Nangarhar in April. Not a single incident of violence was reported in Balkh in the previous month (March).

On April 21, around 200 people, including the attackers, were killed and 100 others were wounded in a complex attack on the headquarters of the Afghan National Army (ANA) 209 Shaheen Military Corps in Mazar-i-Sharif, the capital of Balkh province.

Deadliest Attacks

Last month’s attacks were deadliest compared to the previous month. On average, 12 people were killed or wounded in each attack in March compared to 17 people killed or wounded in each attack in April.

Over 1,600 people were killed and wounded in March’s 137 attacks against 2,162 casualties in April’s 130 attacks.

The US’s GBU-43/B or Massive Ordnance Air Blast (MOAB) attack on a cave complex used by Daesh or so called Islamic State (IS) group in Achin district of Nangarhar proved the second deadliest after the ANA base attack in Balkh.

Officials had said around 200 Daesh fighters including key members of the rebel group were killed and a large amount of ammunition was destroyed when a US aircraft dropped the heaviest non-nuclear bomb on the cave complex in Achin district near the Pakistani border on April 13.

A retired military general, Zalmai Wardak, said average of casualties depended on the nature of attacks.

He said coordinated attacks like the one on the ANA base in Balkh caused more casualties and such deadliest incidents had high casualties compared to the past.

Pajhwok reports show most of casualties last year happened in October, but fatality rate had been on the decline since December. However, casualties again increased after December, 2016.

 

Gen. Mohammad Radminsh, deputy spokesman of the Ministry of Defense (MoD), acknowledged that casualties rate even did not fall in winter and blamed the phenomenon on some intelligence networks’ support with militants.

He cited the Afghan forces effective response to militant attacks another reason behind a high casualty rate.

About the Afghan forces operations, he said: “Currently we have launched 20 operations in 16 provinces and clashes are ongoing. Casualties usually increase when ground operations expand.”

Zalmai Wardak said militant attacks would usually decrease in winter in the past but last winter attacks were as high as in summer in some parts of the country that had warm weather. He said that the reason of high attacks in last winter was Taliban’s stay inside the country. The militants in the past would usually spend winter in neighboring countries.

Wardak said casualty rate last month was high because weather and environment suited the conflict and militants expanded their war grounds, with the Afghan forces responding.

War, not a solution

War victim families ask all warting sides to stop violence

Ali Ahmad, a resident of Kot district of Nangarhar province, who lost six brothers to Daesh, said war was not a solution because it only offered deaths and miseries.

He asked the international community to support in the peace process in Afghanistan.

Ahmad, who now looks after 42 children of his slain brothers and their six widows, asked the warring parties to stop shedding blood so other families did not meet the fate of his own family.

 

Abdul Sammad (not real name), a resident of Chak district of Maidan Wardak province, also asked the government and the rebels to stop fighting and support only those who chose peace.

 “Two of my cousins who were brothers, one of them joined the Taliban and another the Afghan National Army (ANA), both were killed in battles, so we should stop this nonsense. For how long brothers should kill brothers,” he said.

mds/ma