The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) in a statement on Thursday said it notes the Afghan government’s recent order to security forces to review operations’ mechanisms to protect civilians.
In three separate incidents on 8th and 9th of March in Maidan Wardak, Nangarhar and Paktika provinces 24 civilians were killed and injured in pro-government forces operations, the statement said.
Initial findings show that the majority of the victims were women and children and that the death toll of these three incidents has raised UNAMA’s concern, read the statement.
According to the statement, these operations were carried out by the Afghan security forces backed by foreign forces against the Taliban in which the civilians suffered fatalities.
The statement said that a number of the civilians were killed and wounded in airstrikes.
“The incidents in Maidan Wardak and Nangarhar provinces took place in the evening of March 8 when the National Directorate of Security Special Forces supported by international military forces carried out operations against Taliban in Sayed Abad and Hisarak districts, respectively. In both incidents, airstrikes by international military forces caused civilian deaths and injuries,” read the statement.
This comes as President Ashraf Ghani on Tuesday ordered Afghanistan National Security and Defense Forces to review their mechanisms in conducing operations to prevent civilians’ suffering.
UNAMA’s 2018 Annual Protection of Civilians Report released on February 2019 shows a sharp increase in civilian causalities in airstrikes and military operations.
The report says that the causalities increased by 24 percent in 2018 against 2017.
“The report noted that aerial operations by international military forces, as well as search operations conducted by Afghan national security forces and pro-Government armed groups, drove a 24 percent overall increase in civilian casualties by pro-Government forces,” the report says.