A group of residents of Paktia province who claim they have lost family members in night raids in Zurmat district called for the perpetrators to be brought to justice.
The residents claimed that many cases have been filed against night raids in Zurmat district, but their voices haven’t been heard.
Back in August, at least “11 civilians” were killed in an operation by the “01 Unit” of the National Directorate of Security in Zurmat, according to residents. The government assigned a team to investigate the incident, but it has not made its findings public.
“I swear that they have killed innocent people. Their were two shopkeepers… one of them was an Imam of a mosque,” said Mira Jan, a Paktia resident.
The residents showed photos of family members who they said were killed almost a year before but no one has so far responded.
“We were oppressed by night raids and they killed my cousin and torched his house and vehicle,” said Ghulam Mohammad, a Paktia resident.
“A government probe team was assigned almost a year ago but in 14 months it could not find out who conducted the operation,” said Ahmadullah Ahmadi, a civil society activist in Paktia.
Paktia officials said airstrikes and night raids have recently lessened in the distinct.
“We have shared this matter with the provincial governor and the army corps and they vowed to conduct such operations with coordination,” Zurmat district governor Dawlat Khan Zadran said. “Previously, some operations occurred in which civilians were harmed, but now such operations have ceased.”
This comes after multiple reports of a sharp rise in civilian casualties caused by pro-government forces operations as well as from insurgent-initiated attacks and IEDs.