At least 13 civilians were killed in two explosions in Spin Boldak district, Kandahar province, today, the provincial governor’s spokesman Bahir Ahmadi said.
The two explosions targeted civilian vehicles in the district on Friday as a group of people were heading to a wedding ceremony in Spin Boldak, Ahmadi said.
He added that two others were wounded in the explosions.
This comes as violence has increased in the country despite efforts by the Afghan government to begin the peace negotiations that are expected next week.
But hopes still to remain as Abdullah Abdullah, head of the High Council for National Reconciliation, on Thursday said he is confident that talks between Afghans will begin next week.
At an event held at the Institute of War and Peace Studies, Abdullah said that the Afghan government’s negotiating team is fully prepared to participate in the expected discussions.
A report by Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) in mid-July showed that 1,213 civilians were killed, and 1,740 civilians were wounded in the first six months of this year.
In 2019, the AIHRC findings showed that 979 civilians were killed and 2,359 others were wounded in the first six months of the year.
For the current period, the report said an average of 16 civilians a day became victims of violence in Afghanistan during this period and blamed the Taliban for 48.5% of the casualties and Afghan forces for 15.5% percent.
The report blamed “unknown perpetrators” for 26.7% of the casualties, Daesh for 6.3% and international forces for 2.3% of the civilian casualties in the first six months of this year.
The remaining percentage of civilian casualties, the report says, were caused by rocket shelling of Pakistani forces on Kunar, Kandahar, Paktia, and Khost provinces in eastern and southern Afghanistan.
The report states that 542 civilians were killed and 896 others were wounded in Taliban attacks during this period, which is a 24% decrease compared to the same period in 2019.
Civilian casualties in Taliban attacks in 2019 were 1,912 killed or wounded, the report highlights.
The report says the incident types included targeted killings (31% of casualties), IEDs (26%), rocket attacks (11.7%), ground battles (no percentage mentioned), airstrikes (killed 108 civilians) and nights raids (4 civilians killed).
According to the report, there was a 44 percent reduction in civilian casualties caused by airstrikes and 90% decrease in civilian casualties caused by night raids in the first six months of this year compared to the same period last year.
The AIHRC report indicates that the northwestern zone has endured the highest number of civilian casualties in the first six months of this year with 319 civilians killed and 373 others wounded.
The less affected areas were the western zone with 240 casualties (killed and wounded).