2018 proved to be the deadliest year for afghan civilian population as violence escalated. According to the UN report released yesterday, more civilians were killed in the Afghan war in 2018 than during any other year on record since 2001 when US led forces attacked Afghanistan ousted Taliban government.
According to this UN report, there were 3,804 Civilian deaths in 2018 and increase of 11% from 2017. Nearly 7,189 people were injured in the violence. The increased bombings, gun battles and suicide attacks have been the main reason of these deaths. The Taliban increased their attacks on different cities and provinces to gain control of more areas.
Now both America and Taliban are engaged in peace talks in Doha to end this violence and prolonged war. This report was published a day before the beginning of the new round of talks between the two sides in Doha. Many people are hoping for peace and stability as the result of these talks.
According to the UN, at least 32,000 civilians have been killed and another 60,000 wounded in the last decade when the organisation began compiling the data.
The surge in violence in 2018 coincides with a significant increase in the number of deaths caused by the “deliberate targeting of civilians”, according to the report, mostly stemming from suicide attacks by insurgents allied with the Taliban or Islamic State (IS).
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the head of the UN mission in Afghanistan said that “It is time to put an end to this human misery and tragedy. The best way to halt the killings and maiming of civilians is to stop the fighting,”
The militants belonging to the Taliban and ISIS launched at least 65 suicide attacks in 2018 — the majority targeting capital Kabul — with militants responsible for the death of more than 2,200 civilians across the country.
An increase in air strikes by US and Afghan forces also led to more civilian deaths in 2018, with more than 500 civilians killed by “aerial operations for the first time on record”, the report noted.
The US intensified its air campaign against Taliban and IS fighters as Washington seeks to pile pressure on the militants, dropping twice as many munitions on insurgent positions in 2018 compared to the previous year.
Yamamoto said the civilian casualties were “wholly unacceptable” and called on all parties to take “immediate and additional concrete steps to stop a further escalation in the number of civilians harmed and lives destroyed”.
Afghanistan has suffered nearly constant conflict since the Soviet invasion of 1979, which was followed by civil war, the Taliban regime, and the US invasion in late 2001. The escalating violence comes as US President Donald Trump has been pushing to end US involvement in Afghanistan, where 14,000 American troops are still deployed.
Marathon talks held in Doha in January sparked hopes of a breakthrough after the two sides agreed to a “draft framework” that included a Taliban vow to prevent Afghanistan from once again becoming a safe haven for international terror groups.
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17 November, 2019