Monday, September 20, 2021

UN urges warring parties in Afghanistan to protect civilians

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The United Nations has called on Afghanistan’s warring parties to do more to protect civilians, warning that the impact would be “catastrophic” if they failed to do so.

The Taliban ground offensive and Afghan forces’ airstrikes are causing the most harm, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, noted in a series of tweets.

Since the start of the withdrawal of international forces from Afghanistan, the Taliban has intensified their attacks across the country, gaining significant territorial gains, especially in rural areas.

Thousands of people have been displaced and the population is living in fear.

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Several provincial capitals have been encircled by the militants and heavy fighting has been ongoing for days now in the capitals of southern Helmand and Kandahar provinces, as well as in the western part of the city of Herat, in the west.

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A hospital source in Herat told dpa that it had received 24 bodies and nearly 200 wounded people in the past six days.

Among the victims were members of the security forces.

Another source from the Kandahar Health Department said 28 deaths and 191 injured people were recorded in the province in the past 10 days.

Overall, 38 deceased individuals and 156 injured people were admitted to two hospitals in the city of Lashkargah, in Helmand, within the past three days.

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In the meantime, a former U.S. military translator was assassinated in the city of Jalalabad, in eastern Nangarhar province, officials confirmed.

The man, who was serving as an advisor with the Nangarhar provincial council, was shot in front of his house by two unidentified shooters on Monday.

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The UN documented record levels of civilians wounded and killed in May and June and warned that the country is on course for 2021 to witness the highest ever number of documented civilian casualties in a single year.

dpa/NAN

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