Halt Afghan casualties, UN says after report of 11 killed by govt forces Aug 15, 2019 0 270 12345 reutersKABULThe United Nations said on Wednesday it was gravely concerned about reports indicating 11 civilians had been killed in an Afghan security force operation in an eastern province near the border with Pakistan.Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have been increasing, despite attempts by the United States and the Taliban to negotiate an agreement to end the 18-year war.The government’s main security agency, the National Directorate of Security (NDS), said the operation in Paktia province had targeted a Taliban hideout and among the 11 dead militants were two commanders. The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said it was gravely concerned at the killings during a search operation and a human rights team was investigating. “Accountability essential. Harm to civilians must stop,” the agency said in a post on Twitter.A politician in the area said the government forces attacked a student gathering over the Eid al-Adha Muslim holiday.“A university student had invited his classmates for dinner,” Allah Mir Khan Bahramzoi, a provincial council member in Paktia, told Reuters. “Late in the evening, security forces surrounded the house, brought out the victims from the guesthouse and shot them one by one,” he said by telephone from the province.The NDS said weapons and ammunition were seized in the raid. “This operation was conducted based on operative information on a Taliban hideout/center and it left no civilian casualties,” the agency said in a statement.The United Nations says nearly 4,000 civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of the year. The toll included a big increase in the number of casualties inflicted by government and US-led foreign forces.Ground raids and clashes caused the most civilian casualties, followed by bomb attacks and air strikes, UNAMA said in a report last month. Pages 123 RELATED ARTICLES Climbers must be trained to tackle Everest, Nepal says after deaths Aug 15, 2019 0 688 India to ease Kashmir curfew ‘after Thursday’ Aug 15, 2019 0 442 India floods kill more than 270, displace 1 million Aug 15, 2019 0 250 Indian court acquits 6 of killing Muslim dairy farmer in cow vigilante case reuters NEW DELHI An Indian court on Wednesday acquitted six men of the killing of a 55-year-old Muslim dairy farmer, citing lack of evidence, raising questions over the prosecution’s failure to make its case despite ..