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UN concerned at civilian casualties in Helmand

UN concerned at civilian casualties in Helmand

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On
Feb 13, 2017 - 09:10

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): The United Nations has expressed grave concern at the recent escalation of violence in Helmand province, claiming the lives of at least 25 civilians, mostly womeninfo-icon and children.

On February 9 and 10, international troops conducted airstrikes in Helmand’s Sangin district targeting anti-government elements. The raids hit civilian homes, killing several ordinary people.

Initial enquiries by UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon (UNAMA) suggested the airstrikes killed at least 18 civilians, mostly women and children. UNAMA noted Resolute Support had initiated an investigation into the incident.

On February 11, Talibaninfo-icon conducted a suicide attack targeting Afghan National Army soldiers outside of Kabul Bank in Lashkargah, the capital of Helmand. The attack killed at least seven civilians and wounded as many others, mainly child vendors.

The people of Helmand have suffered a lot due to the armed conflict, with 891 civilians killed or injured during 2016. This figure was the highest in the country in 2016 outside of Kabul.

UNAMA reiterated the need for all parties to the conflict to strictly adhere to their obligations under international humanitarian law to take all feasible measures to protect civilians from harm.

The mission also expressed its sincere condolences to the families of victims and hoped for a speedy recovery of the injured.

pr/nh/mud

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