Taliban kill and injure 24 civilians a day (Afghan government)
At least 24 civilians are killed or injured every day in Taliban attacks across the country, the Afghan National Security Council (NSC) said on Tuesday.
Javed Faisal, an NSC spokesperson, said in a series of tweets that, on average, insurgents have carried out 44 attacks and killed or injured 24 civilians every day in Afghanistan since the violence reduction week of February 22.
“The success of the Doha agreement [signed between the US and Taliban on Feb. 29] & peace in Afghanistan requires an immediate reduction in violence and the start of direct talks, ”he said.
The spokesman last week called the deadliest insurgency in 19 years in Afghanistan despite an unannounced ceasefire in place since mid-May.
The Taliban carried out 422 terrorist attacks in 32 provinces last week, killing and injuring 831 members of the security and defense forces, he said.
The Taliban, however, called the reports “baseless” and launched counter-allegations against government forces.
Zabihullah Mujahed, the group’s spokesperson, said in a statement that government officials were trying to distract public attention from the “atrocities” committed by government forces in Sangin district of Helmand the day before.
At least 23 civilians were killed and 15 others injured in Sangin on Monday as a result of multiple explosions. The local governor blamed the Taliban, while insurgents blamed the army for the carnage.
The rise in violence worries American and regional actors who want to see the US-Taliban agreement implemented.
They urged the warring parties to start an intra-Afghan dialogue to pave the way for an end to the war that has lasted for nearly two decades.