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Ghani says civilian casualties not acceptable

13 Mar 2019 Afghanistan Times

By Farhad Naibkhel

KABUL: Following recent claims of civilian casualties in

pro-government forces military operations, and US airstrikes in different

provinces, President Ashraf Ghani on Wednesday said civilian casualties were

“not acceptable” and has ordered the security officials to take preventive

steps to bring the level of civilian casualties to zero.

Speaking at a gathering of the politicians at the Presidential

Palace, President Ghani continued that “civilian casualty is not acceptable by

no means for the National Unity Government (NUG) leadership and security

bosses, if it be one person or several.”

President declared that government was “taking every claim

of civilian casualties serious and investigated each report in the aspect

released since many years” and after nearly every incident security official

“were given order to launch comprehensive” investigation and to take prevention

measures to avoid such incidents in the future.

Always attempts took place to prevent civilian casualties

and the recent reports regarding civilian casualties will be taken seriously,

he added.

Ghani said he has ordered the military officials to take

every possible steps and preventive measures to “bring civilian casualties to

zero” and “avoid attacking those targets where it has possibility of even a

single civilian casualty.”

He said to have directed the security officials to delay the

operation in case the militants hide in civilian populated areas and even to

cancel the raids and strikes if there is the possibility of “even a single

civilian casualty.”

Ghani’s remarks on civilian casualties came in a while that

in recent weeks report regarding civilian casualties has made headline in media

outlets in Helmand, Jalalabad and Ghazni provinces. According to report tens of

civilian casualties reported during pro-government air and ground operations in

Helmand, Jalalabad and Ghazni volatile provinces.

At least 13 civilians have been killed after an air attack

targeted a passenger minibus in Ghazni province, residents claimed.

The incident took place early Tuesday in the Andar district,

according to residents who said the attack came from a military helicopter. The

residents could not identify if it was a US helicopter or it belonged to Afghan

air force. They said that the victims were residents of different areas of

Andar district.

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