KANDAHAR: At least 1,333 people have been killed in the southwestern zone over the past month, a survey conducted by local media outlets has found, while as many as 14,000 families have been displaced in Kandahar’s Arghandab district alone.
The survey didn’t determine the exact figures of security personnel, Taliban and civilians that have been killed but emphasized that at the end of the day, all of them were Afghans fighting for different parties to the conflict, with civilians being the collateral damage.
Residents of Kandahar’s Arghandab district said that the fighting has led to instances where a family’s one member had lost his life in the security forces’ ranks while another was killed fighting alongside the Taliban.
Mohammad Tahir, a resident of Panjwai district, said: “I remember two fierce conflicts in the last twenty years; one of them is the ongoing war that has severely hit the people of Zhari, Panjwai and Arghandab districts.”
“All the residents are living in poverty in these districts. It is time to farm our gardens, but we can’t because all of them are devastated by war, he said, pleading, “If you have compassion for human beings, then stop this war.”
Mohammad Sharif Karimi, the district governor of Kandahar’s Arghandab district, said the fighting had left the Arghandab’s families in dire straits.“About 40 to 50 families are living in Arghandab district schools. As many as ten families are forced to live in a single house,” he said.
“At least 14,000 people have been displaced, and the government has so far been able to provide food assistance to only 333 families for a month, whereas the rest are yet to be assisted.”
Kandahar’s youth and civil society groups have called on Kandahar’s businessmen to extend a helping hand to displaced people in the war-torn districts. They also called on international organizations to work for facilitating an immediate ceasefire during the intra-Afghan talks.