Members of a number of non-government organizations, including the Swedish Committee for Afghanistan (SCA), at a press conference in Kabul on Thursday called on the Afghan government to thoroughly and impartially investigate the attack on a health clinic of the SCA in Wardak province.
SCA and the NGOs said the attack that happened on 8-9 July was a raid conducted by the Afghan forces in which four people were killed and one person is missing.
The Ministry of Defense said the security forces targeted a militants hideout in the operation.
Officials from SCA said the Afghan government should find those responsible and bring them to justice.
“Our demand is that the warring parties should not use the humanitarian services for their goals,” said Khalid Fahim, program director of SCA.
Fahim said Taliban has closed 42 health centers of the organization in Wardak province and has said the centers are closed because SCA did not react to the attack happened on its health center at the province.
Taliban’s political office in Qatar, however, has said the group has no problem with the operation of SCA health centers in Wardak province.
Other NGOs also called on warring parties not to target healthcare personnel and health facilities during the fights.
“We want the warring parties not to target the health centers during their fights and preserve the health personnel’s safety,” Naeem Rahimi, member of a health organization said.
“We express our deepest concerns over the violation of international humanitarian laws and attacks on civilians and health workers,” Bashir Khaliqi - Chairman of Agency Coordinating Body for Afghan Relief and Development said.
The Ministry of Defense said Afghan security forces will be more cautious while conducting operations to make sure civilians are protected.
“Safety of health centers and in general safety of civilians during the operations is a priority of the Ministry of Defense. The Afghan forces never have used health and educational centers as shield against the enemy,” Fawad Aman, a deputy spokesman for the ministry said.
The SCA officials said that since 2019, 17 cases of violence against this organization have happened of which in six cases anti-government armed groups were involved and in four others the Afghan security forces were engaged.
The officials said if the threats against SCA continues, they will rethink about the continuation of their activities in Afghanistan.