Taliban spurn UN report on civilian casualties, question its veracity

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KABUL: The Taliban have vehemently rejected UNAMA’s recent report on civilian casualties attributed to the insurgents, challenging the report’s accuracy.


On Monday, the UNAMA office in Kabul published its quarterly report regarding civilian casualties. The findings accredited 44 percent of all civilian casualties in the first nine months of 2020 to the Taliban.


However, Zabihullah Mujahid, the group’s spokesman, refuted the findings and claimed UNAMA had even ascribed the criminal cases and attacks conducted by the Afghan government to them.


He emphasized that the leading cause of civilian casualties was the enemy airstrikes targeting civilians with massive mortar fires and artillery, abuse of locals by Arbaki militias, and assaults on public places and other provinces.


“Recent examples that left dozens of men, women, and particularly children martyred and harshly wounded are the Takhar and Kunduz attacks,” Mujahid continued.


The group claimed their fighters were exerting utmost efforts to bring civilian casualty levels to zero, adding UNAMA must work persistently on their reports’ accuracy and legitimacy.


A special commission is assigned to follow the issue closely, he concluded.