At least 24 civilians are being killed or wounded on a daily basis in Taliban attacks across the country, Afghanistan’s National Security Council (NSC) said on Tuesday.
Javed Faisal, a NSC spokesman, said in a series of tweets that on average, the insurgents have carried out 44 attacks and killed or wounded 24 civilians every day in Afghanistan since the Feb. 22 reduction in violence week.
“The success of the Doha deal [signed between the US and Taliban on Feb. 29] & peace in Afghanistan requires an immediate reduction in violence & the start of direct talks,” he said.
The spokesman called last week the deadliest in Afghanistan’s 19-year-long insurgency despite an unannounced cease-fire in place since mid-May.
Taliban carried out 422 terrorist attacks in 32 provinces last week, killing and wounding 831 security and defense forces, he said.
The Taliban, however, dubbed the reports “baseless,” and leveled counter-allegations against government forces.
Zabihullah Mujahed, the group’s spokesman, said in a statement that government officials are trying to divert public attention from “atrocities” committed by government forces in Helmand’s Sangin district a day earlier.
At least 23 civilians were killed and 15 others wounded in Sangin on Monday following multiple blasts. The local governor accused Taliban, while the insurgents blamed army for the carnage.
The rising violence is a concern for the US and regional players who want to see the US-Taliban agreement implemented.
They have urged the conflicting parties to start intra-Afghan dialogue to pave the way for an end to the nearly two decade-long war.