AIHRC reports sharp increase in assassinations last year
Over 2,000 civilians were killed or wounded in targeted assassinations and attempted assassinations last year, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) said.
According to a report released on Wednesday, this attack method mainly targets civilian government employees, journalists, members of civil society, religious scholars, influential and prominent figures, members of the National Assembly and human rights defenders.
The AIHRC said in the report that a total of 2,250 people were killed or injured in targeted assassination attacks and attempts – including 1,078 killed and 1,172 injured – last year.
“Unfortunately, civilian casualties from assassinations and targeted killings in 2020 have almost tripled to 169 percent compared to 2019,” the report stated.
In 2019, a total of 834 civilians were killed and injured as a result of the use of assassination methods and targeted attacks.
AIHRC stated that 65 women and 74 children were among the victims of this tactic who were killed, and 95 women and 290 children were among the wounded.
The watchdog noted in its report that suicide attacks had decreased by 23 percent in 2020 compared to the previous year. Despite this, the number of civilian casualties from suicide attacks remained very high, AIHRC said.
In 2020, civilian casualties from Taliban suicide attacks decreased by 44 percent compared to 2019.
In 2019, 1,195 civilians were killed in Taliban suicide attacks, killing 301 and wounding 894 while in 2020, that number dropped to 528 victims, including 65 killed and 463 injured.
In the civilian casualties caused by ISIS (Daesh Afghanistan) suicide attacks, in 2020, compared to 2019, there was a 33 percent increase.
In 2019, the total number of civilian casualties resulting from ISIL (Daesh Afghanistan) suicide attacks was 194 killed and wounded. In 2020, that number rose to 258 killed and injured.
Iran holds ‘good negotiations’ with IEA over water rights
Iran’s foreign minister has said that Tehran had “good negotiations” with the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (IEA) over the issue of water rights.
“We have the water rights issue on the agenda, and the [Iranian] president has assigned Hassan Kazemi Qomi [Iranian ambassador to Afghanistan] to follow up on the matter, with the view that the issues between the two countries should go in the direct direction and be resolved,” Hossein Amir Abdollahian told Iranian state media.
On the recent border clash, he said that the clash did not have any agenda, and the situation in Afghanistan is understandable for Iran.
Tensions between Iran and IEA escalated after Tehran accused Kabul of restricting the flow of water to Iran.
The tensions began last month after Iranian President Ebrahim Raisi warned the IEA needs to “honor” Iran’s rights over the Helmand River.
IEA officials have stressed that they are committed to the 1973 water treaty between Iran and Afghanistan, but there is a lack of water due to drought.
EU-Central Asia summit calls for inclusive government in Afghanistan
Leaders of Central Asian countries and the EU chief met in Kyrgyzstan on Friday, where they discussed Afghanistan among other issues.
The meeting in Cholpon Ata was attended by the leaders of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Uzbekistan, and Tajikistan, and a delegation from Turkmenistan.
On Afghanistan, the participants discussed common concerns over the deteriorating situation in the country and reaffirmed their commitment to see the country develop into a secure, peaceful, stable, prosperous country, according to a joint communique.
The leaders also recognised the efforts of the international community to assist the people of Afghanistan in a principled manner and in accordance with international law and universally recognized norms and principles, despite difficult circumstances.
Participants also called on the international community to step up humanitarian assistance to the people of Afghanistan and noted the key role of the UN in providing humanitarian assistance to Afghanistan in a principled manner.
They underlined the importance of the establishment of an inclusive and representative government and the importance of promotion of and respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms of all Afghans citizens, in particular women, girls and ethnic groups.
IEA special forces kill key Daesh commander in eastern Afghanistan
The Islamic Emirate’s special forces in an operation on Wednesday killed a top Daesh commander along with his accomplice in eastern Nangarhar province, state-run Bakhtar news agency reported.
This Daesh commander’s name was reportedly “Turab”.
The operation was conducted on Wednesday evening in Wuch Tangi village of Shiwa district in eastern Nangarhar province, according to the provincial officials reported by Bakhtar news agency.
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