3 Dec 2018 19:02

Russian Foreign Ministry links rise in Afghan civilian casualties to U.S. actions

MOSCOW. Dec 3 (Interfax) - Moscow demands a thorough inquiry into the incidents in the Afghan provinces of Helmand and Paktia, in which the international forces' actions caused civilian deaths.

"As far as one can judge, the observed rise in casualties is directly related to the decision the U.S. announced earlier to intensify its military activity in Afghanistan. This is proved by the U.S. military command statistics whereby a record number of bombs were dropped in Afghanistan in the first ten months of the current year," the ministry's department of information and press said in a statement posted on the ministry's website on Monday.

"Fatal miscalculations, both by government forces and foreign militaries, are becoming more frequent. Such criminal unprofessionalism raises serious questions about NATO's military activities in Afghanistan," the ministry said.

"We demand a thorough inquiry into these incidents and that those responsible should be held to account. We urge, yet again, all parties involved to put an end to the fratricidal war and begin the national reconciliation process," the ministry said.

The international airstrike in Garmsir District killed 23 civilians, including eight women and ten children, and injured another three, the ministry said.

"In another special operation of the international forces, in the Zurmat district of the Paktia province, eight were killed and four civilians injured. During the second half of November alone, at least five such incidents were recorded," the commentary said.