LASHKARGAH (Pajhwok): Nearly 2000 civilians suffered casualties as a result of clashes, airstrikes and bomb explosions in southern Helmand province during the past eight months, an official said on Thursday.
Sixty people lost their lives and another 1,890 others sustained wounds including women and children during the period, said Helmand-based human rights official Muqim Alizai.
Addressing a press conference in Lashkargah, the provincial capital, Alizai said the civilian casualties during the past eight months showed an increase over casualties during the same period last year.
There were 1,895 civilian casualties in Helmand last year.
Civil society union head Akhtar Mohammad Badizi accused foreign forces of deliberately causing casualties to civilian in some areas.
“The Americans in their blind operations destroy people’s homes and kill people, this is why civilian casualties have increased.”
But the provincial government spokesman, Omar Zwak, disputed the figures provided by the human rights officials. He said civilians had suffered casualties but not as much as claimed by the rights officials.
He said civilians mostly suffered casualties in Taliban attacks and that the government had adopted comprehensive measures to avoid civilian casualties during security forces operations.