Senators in Afghanistan’s Meshrano Jirga (Upper House of Parliament) on Sunday expressed anger over a recent military operation reportedly conducted jointly by Afghan and foreign troops which allegedly claimed civilian lives in the eastern province of Nangarhar.
Senators urged government to launch an investigation into the matter and to hold those responsible accountable for the civilian fatalities.
On Saturday, the provincial governor’s spokesman confirmed that at least eight civilians were killed as a result of a joint operation reportedly conducted by Afghan and Resolute Support Forces in Nangarhar .
Senators warned that civilian fatalities in the country will increase the gap between government and the people.
“There is one family who lost two sons of 4 or 5 years old, Afghan local police check posts exist near their house, they were serving food to ALP officers voluntarily for four years, unfortunately their two sons were killed,” chairman senate Fazel Hadi Muslimyar said.
“These episodes must be stopped, I think such issues would expand the gap between people and government,” said one Senator Rahmatullah Achackzai.
In response to the report, the Afghan Ministry of Defense (MoD) spokesman Dawlat Waziri said that a probe team had been assigned to investigate the alleged reports of civilian casualties in the area. But he said that the operation was not carried out on the orders of the ministry of defense.
“The operation was not launched by the ministry of defense, but I heard about the operation which was conducted by units there and that people were harmed; a probe team has been assigned to investigate to find out what really happened there ” defense ministry spokesman Dawlat Waziri said.
The human loss inflicted to the civilian population has been a problem for both the Afghan government and foreign forces.
But, the defense ministry however said that civilian fatalities during the operations by the security forces have significantly decreased compared to the previous years.