More than 2,200 Afghan civilians were killed in Taliban-related attacks and bomb blasts during 2019, the Afghan Interior Ministry confirmed on Saturday.
“During 2019, Taliban terrorists conducted scores of suicide attacks, improvised explosive device (IED) explosions and guerrilla attacks, and the attacks left 7,391 civilians killed and injured nationwide during the year,” the ministry said in a statement posted on its website.
According to the statement, 2,219 civilians were killed and 5,172 others wounded last year.
Earlier on Saturday, one civilian was killed and two were wounded after a sticky IED explosion struck a vehicle in Mazar-i-Sharif, capital city of northern Balkh province, Adel Shah Adel, provincial police spokesman told Xinhua.
The target of the attack was not known immediately.
Taliban militants have been using home-made IEDs to make roadside bombs, landmines and suicide attack vest targeting security forces, but the lethal weapons also inflict casualties on civilians.
The IED explosions, including IED-induced roadside bomb blasts and suicide attacks, were the leading cause of civilians’ casualties in 2019, followed by ground fighting and pro-government forces-related airstrikes, according to officials.
“The Interior Ministry considers targeting civilians as war crimes and condemned terrorist acts against the civilians,” the statement added.
The Interior Ministry and Afghan National Police are committed to ensuring the safety of civilians and will spare no efforts to provide safety and security for all Afghans, the statement noted.
Source: Xinhua – KABUL