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More civilians killed or injured last year than ever

Graphic: Dr Sima Samar, AIHRC Chairperson (centre)

Most of the casualties were caused by suicide attacks, ground fighting, targeted killings and roadside mine explosions.

Armed conflict in Afghanistan intensified in the past year making it the bloodiest on record for civilians, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) reported.

The Commission found that 3,129 civilians were killed during the year, with a further 6,302 wounded.

This represents a 17.8 percent increase in civilian casualties compared to the previous year.

Most of the casualties were caused by suicide attacks, ground fighting, targeted killings and roadside mine explosions.

Anti-government armed groups were responsible for almost three-quarters (72 per cent) of the reported casualties.

Around 90 civilians were taken hostages during the year. Of this number, 22 people were killed, while the fate of five others is still unknown.

The Report on the Protection of Civilians, 1394 was compiled from monitoring work conducted by the AIHRC's regional and provincial offices.

The report concluded that parties involved in the armed conflict, especially anti-government armed groups, have grossly violated the principle of distinction, the principle of proportionality and precautionary principles.

Launching the report, AIHRC Chairperson Dr Sima Samar demanded that all parties to the conflict to observe international humanitarian law and protect the lives and property of civilians who are not directly involved in the armed conflicts.

Source: Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission

Date: 17 July 2016


The AIHRC statement condemning the attack and the response of Afghan security agencies is available on its website: http://www.aihrc.org.af.

The AIHRC has condemned the attack by a suicide bomber on a peaceful demonstration in Kabul on 24 July 2016 that left at least 80 people killed and hundreds injured. The attack, which the AIHRC described as "a great tragedy and unforgivable crime", was claimed by the Islamic State group.

"Launching peaceful protests and rallies is a human right of citizens, and ensuring the security of the participants is the first duty of the government and security agencies in the country. In today's incident, it is apparent that [the actions of] security agencies to fulfill their legal obligation, which is ensuring the security of the demonstrators, were extremely weak and reluctant. And they would be accountable under the law," the AIHRC said in a statement.

"There are clear signs of unpreparedness, reluctance and lack of necessary measures to ensure the security of the protestors and handle emergency situations. Delivering assistance and urgent consideration to the victims, the wounded and dead bodies at the scene did not exist," the AIHRC said.

"The AIHRC wants the Afghan government to seriously address this issue, and make a full investigation in this regard, and provide the ground for the arrest and prosecution of the perpetrators and the officials who have committed negligence of official duty in this regard, and take urgent and immediate action to help the victims, the injured and those affected and suffered damages in this incident."


Image credits

  1. Dr Sima Samar, AIHRC Chairperson (centre) - Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission