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PublishDate: Tuesday, August 10, 2021 12:47

ICRC calls for restraint as health centers come under intense pressure

The International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) stated Tuesday that hundreds of thousands of people are at risk as fighting intensifies in and around the cities of Kunduz, Lashkargah, Kandahar and other cities in Afghanistan.

Afghan Voice Agency (AVA)_The ICRC has called on all parties to the conflict to exercise immediate restraint, protect civilians and protect critical infrastructure such as hospitals from attacks and casualties resulting from conflict in densely populated areas.

According to a statement issued by the ICRC, as of August 1, at least 4,042 people injured in the war have been treated at 15 health centers assisted by the , this indicating the severity of the recent violence.

“We are witnessing the destruction of homes, the endangerment of health workers and the sick, the damage to hospitals, as well as water and electricity infrastructure,” said Eloi Fillion, head of ICRC’s central office in Afghanistan.

“The use of explosive weapons in cities has far-reaching implications for civilians beyond their intended purpose. Mortar shells and rockets hit civilian homes without separation. Many families have no choice but to flee to find a safe place. This situation must end,” said Fillion.

Street clashes in Kunduz, and other cities have injured scores of civilians in recent days, while health centers are under intense pressure due to injuries and a lack of staff, the statement read.

has been cut off in several disputed cities, and water supply networks are struggling in some areas. Most families try to leave those areas, but they cannot because they do not find the vehicles or do not have the funds, the statement said.

The ICRC and its affiliate, the Afghan Red Crescent, are trying their best to evacuate the wounded and the bodies of those killed in the conflict. In July alone, the ICRC assisted with 13,000 war wounded across the country, a number that appears to be rising due to the escalation of fighting in populated areas of the country.

“Health care centers, health workers and ambulances must be safe at all costs. We continue to urge all parties involved to allow humanitarian organizations such as the ICRC and the Afghan Society to evacuate the wounded safely and to provide assistance to people in need of urgent humanitarian assistance,” Fillion said.

Meanwhile Doctors without Borders (MSF) said that a rocket exploded in the compound of MSF Boost hospital in Lashkargah city, capital of Helmand province on Monday.

The explosion was very close to our Emergency Room, and it could have been much worse, MSF tweeted.

According to MSF the -NGO_hospital, next door to them was also hit by a rocket, but there were no injuries at either facility.

The organization stated: “MSF reminds all warring parties that MSF hospital is operational, saving patients’ lives & protected under international humanitarian law. Even during conflict medical facilities must be protected at all times.”

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