KABUL -- Increasing terrorist violence is breeding anger and hatred of militants among the Afghan people, officials and observers say.
In 2016, 3,498 Afghan civilians lost their lives in the war, including 923 children, and another 7,920 civilians were wounded, according to the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
It was the "highest-total civilian casualties recorded since 2009", UNAMA said in its annual report, and the death toll among children was 24% higher than in 2015.
Outraged Afghans want terrorists to stop brutalising the population with their kidnappings, assassinations and suicide bombings.
Carnage and grief
"Our young people, children and elders fall victim to terrorists' indiscriminate attacks every day," Dr. Javid Ahmed, 34, a medical doctor and a resident of Kabul, told Salaam Times.
"Families lose their breadwinners, while mothers and fathers mourn the loss of their children," he said. "How long will this war and murder last?"
Terrorism and war have damaged Afghans' lives in numerous ways, said Sayed Jawad Husseini, leader of the Justice and Development Party and spokesman for New Front of Afghanistan.
"The Afghan people have been afflicted with mental illnesses, civilian casualties have increased, the country's economy has suffered," he told Salaam Times.
Unemployment has risen and the positive aspects of any society, such as education, culture, art and democracy, are all endangered in the endless war, he said.
"Every day ... our fellow citizens are killed in war or by suicide attacks," Masuda Karukhi, a member of parliament (MP) from Herat, told Salaam Times.
The daily carnage combined with record-high unemployment is inflicting "enormous psychological damage", she said.
Citizens protest Taliban, ISIL
Civilians are taking their grief and outrage to the streets, expressing unity against the Taliban and "Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant" (ISIL).
On January 4, civil society activists and other Afghans marched in Herat and chanted anti-ISIL slogans, while in Kabul, various organisations held different vigils against war.
On February 4, a group of young Afghans in Kabul poured red dye into the river to symbolise the rising civilian death toll.
"These civilian casualties should not be treated with indifference," Ahmad Javid Shakib, a journalist and member of the Afghanistan 1400 civil and political movement, told Salaam Times.
Kabul-based religious scholar Mulvi Waliullah Labib denounced terrorists' acts as based in ignorance, rather than Islamic teachings.
"Actions committed by the militants are in no way considered as jihad," he told Salaam Times.
Lacking jobs and education
Besides leaving a trail of grief and devastation, terrorism and war are undermining the economy, analysts say.
At the end of 2016, the unemployment rate was estimated to be 40%, according to the Trading Economics website.
Fleeing high unemployment, thousands of young Afghans are risking their lives to migrate to Europe, often dying in the effort.
Ordinary Afghan people have lost all their possessions in war, said Karukhi, the MP.
"Investors are facing many challenges in the industrial city of Herat and the country's economy is moving towards recession," she said.
At the same time, going to school can become an act of courage for children.
In 2016, war and terrorism destroyed 182 schools nationwide, Education Ministry spokesperson Muhammad Kabir Haqmal told Salaam Times.
In some cases, terrorists blew up all-girls schools or set them on fire.
The demands of war are distorting the role of police, officials and military analysts say.
The war has distracted Afghan security forces from focusing on their main responsibility -- law enforcement, Minister of Interior Affairs Gen. Taj Muhammad Jahid said during a cabinet meeting in Kabul February 12, local media reported.
Police are responsible for enforcing the law and ensuring public safety, said Gen. (ret.) Zalmi Wardak, a Kabul-based military analyst.
"Rather than enforcing the rule of law and combating administrative corruption, the police are busy fighting the Taliban and ISIL militants," he told Salaam Times.