Wednesday 18 September 2019, 10:34 AM
34 killed in Afghan road mine explosion
By IANS | Bharat Defence Kavach | Publish Date: 7/31/2019 4:49:03 PM
34 killed in Afghan road mine explosion

Kabul: At least 34 people were killed and 17 others wounded when a passenger bus hit a mine placed on a national highway in Afghanistan's Farah province on Wednesday, officials said.The explosion occurred around 6 a.m. when the bus packed with passengers detonated the mine on the road linking the provinces of Herat and Kandahar, Farah police spokesperson Muhibullah Muhib told Efe news.

Presidential spokesman Sediq Sediqi confirmed the death toll, calling the incident a "massacre of people by Taliban mines". "All victims of this incident are civilians including women and children," he said.Victims of the blast were taken to neighbouring Herat province, while the wounded were evacuated to nearby police bases where they were given first aid. 
 
The number of civilian casualties in nearly two decades of the Afghan conflict remains extremely high, with 1,366 dead and 2,446 wounded in the first half of 2019 alone, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Tuesday in its latest report.According to UNAMA, the "zero victims" goal agreed in July in Doha during talks among the representatives of the US, Afghanistan and the Taliban, is still far from being achieved.
 
In 2019, 717 deaths occurred due to the actions of Afghan and international forces and 531 due to insurgent groups such as the Taliban and the Islamic State, marking an unprecedented situation since the data began to be collected in 2009.
 
After nearly two decades of conflict, Afghanistan is at a stage of some optimism in light of progress made in negotiations between US representatives and the Taliban, who insist on the need for the US to withdraw its troops from the country for the peace dialogue to enter a new phase. 
 

Over 1,300 Afghans killed in 1st half of 2019: UN mission

 
Kabul: Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of armed conflict as 1,366 of them were killed and 2,446 injured in the first half of 2019, a UN mission said on Tuesday.The latest figures from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), released in the report, showed a 27 per cent drop in casualties for the first half of 2019 compared to the same period in 2018, which was a record.
 
While the UN welcomed the drop in civilian casualties from January 1 to June 30 this year, it "continues to regard the level of harm done to civilians as shocking and unacceptable," UNAMA said in a statement."Everyone heard the message loud and clear from Afghan delegates in the Doha talks, 'reduce civilian casualties to zero!'" Tadamichi Yamamoto, special UN envoy and head of UNAMA, was quoted in the statement as saying.
 
"We urge all parties to heed this imperative, to answer the call of Afghans for immediate steps to be taken to reduce the terrible harm being inflicted," he said.The report said ground engagements caused the most civilian casualties in the first six months of 2019, causing one-third of the overall total, followed by the use of improvised explosive devices and air strikes.
 
The mission attributed 52 per cent of the civilian casualties to the Taliban and other insurgent groups and 37 per cent to security forces over the period while the rest were unattributed or caused by other reasons. According to the UNAMA, women continue to be "disproportionately" impacted by the armed conflict in Afghanistan, which caused the deaths of 144 women and injured 286. 
 
Child casualties comprised nearly one-third of the overall civilian casualties, with 327 deaths and 880 injured.US special envoy for Afghanistan Zalmay Khalilzad is expected to return to Qatar next week for an eighth round of direct talks with Taliban negotiators.

Tags:

people,officials,highway,national,Farah

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