At least six people, including two civilians, were killed in an operation by Afghan security forces in two villages on the outskirts of Charikar city, the center of northern Parwan province, the commander of security forces coordination in Parwan, Alozai Ahmadi confirmed on Saturday.
He said the operation was carried out to clear the areas of Taliban.
He said two of those killed are civilians while it is not known whether the four others are residents of the area or militants.
The operation was carried out early on Saturday morning and was supported by the Special Forces as well as the Air Force.
He said that at least 15 suspects, all residents of the villages, were arrested by the Special Unit of the National Directorate of Security during the operation.
Meanwhile, a police commander in Parwan claimed that the operation was not coordinated with them.
Reports indicate that the Kabul-Balk highway which passes through Charikar city in Parwan was closed for few hours by residents of the province to protest civilian casualties in the operation.
Civilian Casualties in First Quarter of 2019
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report on April 24 that it has documented high levels of harm to civilians but adds that there has been a 23 percent decrease in overall civilian casualties as compared to the same period last year and is the lowest for a first quarter since 2013.
The report says the UN documented 1,773 civilian casualties (581 deaths and 1,192 injured), including 582 child casualties (150 deaths and 432 injured) between January 1 and March 31.
In the first quarter of 2018, UNAMA documented 2,305 civilian casualties (799 deaths and 1,506 injured), including 609 child casualties (176 deaths and 433 injured), the report says.
The overall reduction of civilian casualties was driven by a decrease in civilian casualties by suicide improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, the report says.
UNAMA notes the particularly harsh winter conditions during the first three months of the year, which may have contributed to this trend, the report says.
It is unclear whether the decrease in civilian casualties was influenced by any measures taken by parties to the conflict to better protect civilians, or by the ongoing talks between parties to the conflict, the report mentions.
UNAMA says it remains concerned by the continued targeting of civilians and increase in civilian casualties from the use of non-suicide IEDs by Anti-Government Elements, as well as significant increases in civilian casualties from aerial and search operations, which drove an overall increase in civilian casualties by Pro-Government Forces.
Civilian deaths attributed to Pro-Government Forces surpassed those attributed to Anti-Government Elements during the first quarter of 2019, the report says.
Between 1 January and 31 March 2019, UNAMA attributed 608 civilian casualties (305 deaths and 303 injured) to Pro-Government Forces, representing a 39 percent increase from the same period last year.
UNAMA notes with concern that Pro-Government Forces were responsible for more civilian deaths than Anti-Government Elements during the first quarter of 2019.
UNAMA attributed 17 percent of civilian casualties to the Afghan national security forces, 13 percent to international military forces, two percent to pro-Government armed groups, and two percent to multiple Pro-Government Forces.