— AJE News (@AJENews) April 17, 2016
Die Auseinandersetzungen zwischen afghanischen Sicherheitskräften und den Taliban in weiten Teilen Afghanistans und offensichtlich besonders heftig im Norden gehen weiter: Auch in den vergangenen zwei Tagen gab es Gefechte rund um die nordafghanische Provinzhauptstadt Kundus.
Um das Geschehen im Blick zu behalten, einige Hinweise auf aktuelle Meldungen:
Al Jazeera – Heavy fighting rages in Afghanistan’s Kunduz
Both the Taliban and the Afghan government have claimed major advances as intense fighting continues for the strategic city of Kunduz. (…)
The Taliban said on Sunday fighters were besieging Kunduz from three directions – east, north and west – and had made significant gains in their efforts to recapture it. (…)
Conversely, Afghan authorities said security forces had pushed back a recent Taliban attack and were advancing as heavy fighting continued around the province.
TOLO News – Kunduz Residents Fear City Onslaught
Heavy fighting around Kunduz city has sparked concern among local residents who have called on government to step up their operations so as to prevent the Taliban from gaining ground.
Residents fear insurgents will encroach on the city and seize control of it as happened late last year. (…)
„Currently battles are going on around the city belts, however the situation is under control inside the city,“ another Kunduz resident said.
Elite Afghan troops battled Sunday to clear Taliban fighters from a highway outside a strategic northern city as residents fled their homes under threat of further violence.
Afghan security officials say special forces have so far repelled a Taliban advance that began Thursday outside the city of Kunduz, which the Taliban took over for two weeks last fall, sparking a major crisis of confidence in the government.
Residents say the Taliban have made inroads in several districts surrounding Kunduz, the country’s fifth-largest city. Inside Kunduz, families were trying to leave the city, and in several villages within two miles of the city, residents said the Taliban ordered them to flee their homes immediately “or they will be stuck inside war zones,” one said.
Und die Lage scheint weiterhin sehr veränderlich – von einer tatsächlichen Kontrolle der Sicherheitskräfte scheint kaum die Rede zu sein. Einer der jüngsten Tweets von Journalisten aus der Region am Sonntagabend:
Fresh fighting started in Charkhab and Nasiri villages near Airport, jet fighters circling the city.#kunduz
— Ehsan (@ehsan_af) April 17, 2016
Da klingt es wenig überraschend, dass die Vereinten Nationen eine erneute Höchstzahl von getöteten oder verwundeten Zivilisten in Afghanistan beklagen. Zwar ging in den ersten drei Monaten dieses Jahres die Zahl der Todesopfer im Vergleich zum Vorjahresquartal zurück, dafür gab es mehr Verletzte. Und ein Drittel der Opfer waren Kinder, wie die UN-Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) am Sonntag mitteilte:
UNAMA documented 1,943 civilian casualties (600 deaths and 1,343 injured) in the period between 1 January and 31 March 2016. These figures mark an overall increase in civilian casualties of two per cent compared to the same period in 2015 with a 13 per cent decrease in deaths but an 11 per cent increase in injuries. Consistent with 2015 trends, ground engagements caused the highest number of total civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), complex and suicide attacks, as well as targeted killings.
Actions by Anti-Government Elements caused at least 60 per cent of casualties while Pro-Government Forces caused at least 19 per cent. 16 per cent of civilian casualties resulted from fighting between Anti-Government Elements and Pro-Government Forces which could not be attributed to a specific party. Unattributed unexploded ordinance were responsible for the remaining casualties (six per cent). (…)
UNAMA notes with particular concern an increase in civilian casualties from aerial operations by both the Afghan Air Force and International Military Forces in the first quarter of 2016, with 27 casualties (six deaths and 21 injured) compared to 16 civilian casualties during the same period in 2015. UNAMA urges Pro-Government Forces to redouble efforts to ensure that all feasible safeguards are put into place to ensure that civilians are not harmed during aerial operations. Both the Government and NATO/Resolute Support must ensure prompt investigations are conducted into all aerial operations should there be credible allegations of civilian casualties.
UNAMA notes with extreme concern that increased fighting in populated areas continues to kill and injure women and children at higher rates than the general population. The Mission has documented a five per cent increase in women casualties (195 women casualties – 52 deaths and 143 injured) and a 29 per cent increase in child casualties (610 children casualties – 161 deaths and 449 injured) compared to the first three months of 2015. Ground engagements caused the highest number of women casualties, followed by suicide and complex attacks, and IEDs. For children, ground engagements killed and maimed the most, followed by unexploded ordinance and IEDs.
“In the first quarter of 2016, almost one third of civilian casualties were children,” said Danielle Bell, UNAMA’s Human Rights Director.