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Amid Afghan-Taliban clashes human rights watchdog reports 80% spike in civilian casualties

02:17 PM Aug 02, 2021 | IANS

The Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said that 1,677 civilians were killed and 3,644 others injured in the first six months of this year, marking an 80 per cent increase compared to the same period in 2020.

In its latest report released on Sunday, the watchdog added that 1,594 security incidents occurred during this period.

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In the first six months of 2020, according to the watchdog, 1,213 civilians were killed and 1,744 injured, reports TOLO News.

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The Commission report noted that during this period 154 women were killed and 350 were wounded. These numbers in 2020 were 126 killed and 171 wounded.

According to the report, 373 children were also killed and 1,083 others injured.

The report blamed the Taliban for 56 per cent of the casualties, pro-government forces for 15 per cent, Islamic State 7 per cent, and unknown perpetrators 22 per cent.

In 451 incidents, a total of 1,987 civilians have been harmed by IED blasts, roadside mines, car-bombs, and exploding mines or ordnance. This includes 587 civilians killed, and 1,400 others injured, the report says.

Targeted killing accounts for 30 per cent of the total number of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2021, the report says,.

According to the AIHRC findings, rocket fire and heavy weapon use accounted for 18 per cent of total civilian casualties.

The report added that 21 civilians were killed, while 79 others injured in suicide attacks.

Also, 81 civilians were killed and 326 were wounded in ground clashes between the government forces and armed groups.

While airstrikes killed 77 people, night raids accounted for 12 fatalities.

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