Hundreds killed in November attacks in Afghanistan

ANADOLU AGENCY
KABUL
Published

More than 300 Afghan civilians, security forces and thousands of armed rebels were killed in November in signs of escalating violence in the war-torn country. Figures compiled by Anadolu Agency indicate there has been an evident surge in killings amid a renewed push by the U.S. for peace talks with Taliban in the nearly two-decade-old war.

In just three major incidents of civilian casualties last month, over 100 lives were lost in capital Kabul, Helmand and Ghazni provinces.

The deadliest among them was a suicide bombing at a religious ceremony in the heart of Kabul that claimed 50 lives on Nov. 20. Najib Danish, spokesman of the Interior Ministry, told Anadolu Agency the suicide attack targeted a private community hall where the birthday of Prophet Muhammad was being marked.

This was followed by Taliban assaults on ethnic Shia-Hazara minority villages in Jaghori and Malistan district of Ghazni in the last week of November that left at least 35 civilians killed. Thousands more were forced to flee their homes and take refuge in relatively safer parts of the country.

The third resulted in mass civilian casualties in a U.S. air raid in restive Helmand province late November which killed 23 civilians.

Some 649 civilian casualties have been recorded this year from January to September, according to the U.N. mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

The Afghan forces continue to face the brunt of war after taking over nationwide security responsibilities from NATO forces in 2015. In a rare admission, President Ashraf Ghani confirmed more than 28,500 Afghan troops have been killed since taking over security responsibilities from the much better trained and equipped NATO forces.

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