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2017: Violence kills 114 Helmand civilians

2017: Violence kills 114 Helmand civilians

Jan 01, 2018 - 16:38

LASHKARGHA (Pajhwok): The year 2017 saw violence killing 114 civilians and wounding 1,781 others, mostly children, in southern Helmand province, an official said Monday.

The civilians suffered casualties in landmine explosions and airstrikes, said Afifi Marouf, Independent Human Rights Commission (IHRC) head for Helmand said.

He told Pajhwok Afghan News heavy the dead included 76 men, 18 women and 20 children and the injured included 105 men, 216 women and 1,460 children.

“The figures might be higher because many people who suffer casualties in remote areas go unreported,” Marouf added.

He complained the warring parties acted against international rules and paid no attention to civilian lives during the conflict.

About the civilian deaths, Abdul Majid Akhundzad, a public representative, said 2017 causalities showed it was another bloody year in Helmand. He called for serious attention to civilian lives during the war. 

Meanwhile, Omar Zwak, the governor’s spokesman, said civilian casualties declined in security forces operations in Helmand in 2017 compared to past other years.

Without providing exact number, he said: “We usually make a strategy how to protect civilians before conducting an operation.”

Zwak added the Taliban by carrying suicide attacks in bazaars and planting landmines on roads caused most of the civilian casualties.

A UNAMA report in 2016 said 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 others wounded.