Wolesi Jirga (Lower House of Parliament) Speaker Abdul Rauf Ibrahimi on Monday called for a serious investigation into allegations of civilian casualties sustained in a military operation by Afghan Special Forces in Helmand province on Saturday night.
“We call on the leadership of the defense and security agencies of Afghanistan to investigate the issue as soon as possible, recognize its perpetrators and send them to court,” Ibrahimi told MPs.
The operation was conducted in Malgir village in Greshk district where Special Forces targeted a Taliban weapons cache. At least 10 civilians were killed in the operation, reports indicate.
Malgir village, which is under Taliban control, is connected to the fourth district of Lashkargah city.
“There was an old home about 50 meters away from where the Taliban’s weapons cache was, and when it was blown up, the home collapsed, killing 10 people including children and women,” Helmand governor Hayatullah Hayat said.
Meanwhile, Helmand Provincial Council members spoke out about civilian casualties and violence against civilians in the ongoing war in the province.
“We have called on security forces and security officials many times to pay attention to protecting civilians during their military operations; however, unfortunately both sides [security forces and Taliban] are careless about protecting civilians,” said Karim Atal, head of the provincial council.
This comes after a report by the United Nations indicated that at least 11,500 people were either killed or injured in Afghanistan’s violence in 2016.