International

Afghan violence kills 460 civilians in Kandahar, 104 in Lashkar Gah: UN

United Nations, August 6 (UNI/SPUTNIK): Fighting in Afghanistan has led to 460 civilian casualties in Kandahar with 104 killed in Lashkar Gah, UN Special Representative for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons on Friday.

“Fighting has been especially severe in Lashkar Gah, the capital of Helmand province. Since July 28, just a mere 10 days ago at least 104 civilians were killed and 403 wounded as registered by the two main hospitals,” Lyons said at a United Nations Security Council meeting. “In Kandahar, since the start of the offensive there on July 9, a month ago, more than 460 civilians casualties have been registered.”

The representative went in to say that further to the west, in and around Herat, UNAMA has credible reports of over 135 civilian casualties from the onset of the Taliban offensive.

“Just in these three cases, I am talking of over 1000 casualties just in this last month,” she said.

She went in to say that homes, his totals, bridges and other infrastructure are being destroyed, saying the nature of the conflict in the country has changed.

“This is now a different kind of war, reminiscent of Syria recently,” she said. “To attack urban areas is to knowingly inflict enormous harm and cause massive civilian casualties.”

Violence in Afghanistan has been on the rise since foreign troops began to withdraw from the country. The troop pull-out was a premise of the agreement reached by the Taliban and the United States in Doha in February of last year, conditional upon the radical group ceasing violence and cutting ties with terrorist organisations.

Russian Permanent Representative to the United Nations Vassily Nebenzia said in a Security Council meeting that Afghanistan risks slipping into full-scale protracted civil war amid the absence of progress on peace negotiations.

“It is clear that there is no military solution to the Afghan situation, but, in the current situation, given the absence of progress on the negotiation track, the prospect of Afghanistan slipping into full scale and protracted civil war, unfortunately, is a stark reality,” Nebenzia said.

“Therefore, the most important goal today is to swiftly launch substantive negotiations,” the diplomat added.

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