Ghani Issues New Combat Orders to Curb Afghan Civilian Casualties

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Afghanistan’s president Ashraf Ghani has issued fresh combat orders to government officials, particularly the Afghan security forces, in an effort to curb civilian casualties in the ongoing war.

President Ghani made the remarks during a special meeting of the National Security Council (NSC) on Friday, asking the Afghan defense and security institutions to work jointly with the United Nations (UN) in Kabul and probe the civilian death toll in the country.

In a statement, the presidential palace said the government was considering an inclusive plan containing reassessment of the procedures during the military operations, combat order and support for war victims.

The decision comes just a few weeks after deadly suicide bombings hit major Afghan cities particularly the nation’s capital Kabul in which dozens of Afghan civilians including women and children were killed and hundred others were wounded.

“In the meeting of security council, president as supreme commander of the armed forces instructed the defense and security forces to take initiative in the battle field and prevent civilian casualties,” deputy presidential spokesman Sayed Zafar Hashemi said.

The Afghan government is considering new military war principles at a time that casualties among Afghan citizens is still on the rise which many blame on the Taliban.

Controversy surrounds recent civilian deaths in Afghanistan after the new Taliban leadership declared all-out war against the Afghan government and foreign forces in the country following the death of Taliban’s reclusive leader Mullah Omar’s death.

Apparently, the recent spate of security threats and Taliban suicide attacks and destructive activities that killed dozens also led to a public outcry among the Afghan people.

Responding to the recent casualties, the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) has also denounced attacks against the civilian populated areas in all its forms and manifestations.

“This return to the armed opponents whoever are behind such attacks. They {insurgents} should realize that their deeds are against Islam and the prevailing laws of the country and even against war laws,” AIHRC spokesman Rafiullah Bedar said.

Based on the Afghan constitution, the government has committed itself to provide security to the people.

According to the Afghan constitution, the government is obliged to provide security to the citizens and ensure their safety.

Following a spate of deadly attacks in Kabul, this time the Afghan religious scholars also spoke out about the attacks on civilians and announced the killing of civilians was inhumane and against Islamic teachings.

“These responsibilities basically related to government to abide by them and work for people’s security,” religious scholar Maulavi Abdul Hadi Hedayat said.

The scholars rebuked the Taliban over the killing of civilians and denounced their attacks against civilians and called it un-Islamic.

This comes at a time that the UN in its recent report announced that the civilian toll in the Afghan war was rising with 70 percent of the deaths caused by the Taliban insurgency.

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