Over 8,500 Afghan civilians killed, injured in 2020

An Afghan security officer keeps watch at the site of a blast in Kabul, Afghanistan

In its latest report, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has revealed that more than 8,500 civilians were killed and wounded due to the war and violence in the country last year.

According to the AIHRC report, civilian casualties in Afghanistan dropped 21 per cent in 2020 as compared to 2019, TOLO News reported.

Unknown armed groups were the second highest cause of casualties after the Taliban, it said.

Based on the report, the Taliban were responsible for 4,568 deaths and injuries of civilians during this period, while the unknown groups were responsible for killing and wounding 2,107, while the security forces were blamed for 1,188 deaths and injuries.

“Civilian casualties are still very high, we can say that there is a catastrophe going on in Afghanistan,” said Naeem Nazari, the deputy head of the AIHRC.

“The Taliban in recent times has committed major crimes without taking responsibility for them. The Taliban have martyred thousands of our civilian compatriots,” said Tariq Arian, a spokesman for the Ministry of Interior.

In 2018 and 2019, complex suicide attacks and car bombing incidents caused most of the casualties.

However, in 2020 targeted killings, assassinations and magnetic mine explosions claimed the most civilian lives, and, more worryingly, no group has claimed responsibility for these attacks.

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