KABUL (Pajhwok): More than 2,100 people have been killed and wounded during the Afghan conflict in August, which shows a 42 percent decline in casualties over July. In July, 246 attacks happened — 32 percent more than recorded in August.
Pajhwok reports based on different sources show 1,045 people lost their lives and 1,067 others sustained injuries in attacks in 30 provinces of the country in August when 167 attacks happened.
The Taliban carried out 48 attacks, unidentified gunmen 55, Afghan forces 47 and foreign forces 16 attacks. Missile shelling into Kunar province from Pakistan also caused casualties.
August attacks show among every 22 persons, 11 suffered casualties in face to face fighting, four in suicide attacks, three in explosions, and two each in airstrikes and targeted attacks.
In August, most or 22 attacks took place in Faryab, 15 in Nangarhar, 14 in Logar, nine in Kabul and the rest in 20 in other 26 provinces.
No report about casualties was received from Bamyan, Paktika, Nimroz and Nuristan provinces in August.
Pajhwok reports show 1,045 people were killed and 1,067 others were injured in August.
Rebels, security forces and civilians were among the casualties. But Pajhwok could not compile specific casualty figures because different sources provided different accounts.
Last month, there were attacks and casualties on a daily basis. Most of the casualties happened on August 18 when 83 people were killed and 187 others injured.
The deadliest attack happened in a wedding hall in Kabul in which 63 people were killed and 182 others injured. Daesh or Islamic State had claimed responsibility for the attack.
According to experts, increase in casualties depends on the nature of tactics used in fighting.
They say the risk of casualties in guerrilla fighting and attacks is higher in populated areas.
Reasons behind intensified clashes
On average, 68 people suffered casualties on a daily basis last month but the number of attacks and fatalities was less during first five days of Eid ul Adha and two days earlier of Eid. During these seven days, 90 people were killed or wounded.
Aimal Stanikzai, a resident of Maidan Wardak province, said that violence declined during Eid holidays as the warring sides also celebrated the festival.
However, he said, “God may establish permanent peace in our country so every day is Eid.”
The violence continues in Afghanistan as ninth round of peace talks between the US and the Taliban concluded in Doha, capital of Qatar last week.
Atiqullah Amarkhel, a retired general and military expert, said though he believed little in the ongoing peace talks yet the process could have some impact on the war’s intensification or reduction.
“War means an abnormal life. It sometimes escalates and sometimes cools down,” he said.
He said intensifying attacks by either side was aimed at seeking leverage in the ongoing peace negotiations and imposing their terms.
Amarkhel said there were many reasons behind a decline in war. “May be sometimes the warring sides take a break to prepare supplies.”
Afghan forces, supported by foreign troops, have been fighting the Taliban over the past 18 years. Past experiences show casualties and attacks surge in Afghanistan in summer and decline in winter.
Casualties in the first eight months of the ongoing year fell by 12 percent compared figures during the same period in 2018.
In 2017, around 25,000 people suffered casualties compared to around 27,000 people killed or injured in 2018. In the last eight months of 2019, more than 15,800 people suffered casualties.