AIHRC urges warring sides to reduce civilian casualties


KABUL: Amid an uptick in the trend of targeted killings in the capital Kabul and other parts of the country, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) on Sunday voiced grave concern, asking the conflicting sides to observe international norms in the ongoing war.

AIHRC in a statement received by Afghan Peace Watch (APW) said that the commission’s findings revealed as many as 122 civilians, including seven women, had been killed and 72 others injured in targeted attacks in Kandahar province alone over the past seven months.

The source said that 954 civilians had been victims of targeted assaults countrywide in the first half of 2020. Of those attacked, 533 have been killed and 412 others sustained injuries.

The commission asked all warring parties to abide by international humanitarian norms and respond to the commission’s requests for reducing civilian losses on the battlefield.

The government should take practical steps in protecting people, particularly religious minorities, clerics, human rights activists and civil society activists, AIHRC concluded.

AIHRC statements come as complaints from security situation and criminal incidents in Kabul and provinces have recently seen a spike. Meanwhile, the APW’s Reduction in Violence (RiV) initiative has also documented a dramatic increase in the level of violence perpetrated through targetted shootings.