Kabul [Afghanistan], August 8 (ANI): Amid the Taliban offensive in Afghanistan post US drawdown, there has been 80 per cent spike in civilian casualties as compared to last year.
According to the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission report in the first six months of 2021, 1,677 civilians were killed and 3,644 others injured. This casualty figure is 80 per cent higher compared to civilian casualties that happened in the corresponding period last year, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.
Last week, 101 civilians were killed and 516 others injured in 29 attacks in 12 provinces -- Helmand, Kandahar, Herat, Kabul, Maidan Wardak, Balkh, Kapisa, Zabul, Nangarhar, Takhar, Badakhshan and Uruzgan.
According to Pajhwok Afghan News, weekly casualties' reports, last week was the deadliest so far this year as far as civilian casualties are concerned.
The UN Security Council (UNSC) has demanded a halt to the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan and the resumption of peace talks amid escalating violence and increasing civilian casualties.
The Secretary-General's Special Representative Deborah Lyons said: "Ahead lies either a genuine peace negotiation or a tragically intertwined set of crises: an increasingly brutal conflict combined with an acute humanitarian situation and multiplying human rights abuses."
Lyons, who also heads UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), urged the UN Security Council to work to prevent Afghanistan from descending into a catastrophic situation.
She believed the Security Council and the broader international community could help prevent the direst scenarios. But quick and unified action would be required, she explained.
She demanded sanctions on Taliban leadership should be linked with genuine progress in peace talks.
The UNSC said the council will not support political structure in the name of the Islamic Emirate (Taliban rule) in Afghanistan again. The UN body also expressed its concern over reports of growing human rights violations in Afghanistan, reported Pajhwok Afghan News.
International efforts for peace and ceasefire are underway at a time when the conflict has intensified in Afghanistan.
Besides scattered fighting nationwide, the Taliban and Afghan forces fought heavily in the capitals of Helmand, Kandahar, Nimroz, Jawzjan and Herat provinces.
According to the latest reports, Zaranj, the capital city of Nimroz province, and Shiberghan, the provincial capital of Jawzjan, had fallen to the Taliban while fighting is underway currently in Helmand's capital Lashkargah, Kandahar City and Sar-e-Pul City. (ANI)