Afghan civilian casualties hit all-time high, says UN

Afghan civilian casualties hit all-time high, says UN

The report also cited a 3% increase in total conflict-related civilian casualties compared to a year ago - the highest number since the the United Nations started documenting the deaths and injuries in the conflict in 2009.

He said foreign forces were the major perpetrators of Afghan civilian casualties as they dropped tons of bombs on people and raided homes.

The U.N. mission said the almost 25 percent increase in child deaths from the previous year was largely caused by mines and munitions left over from decades of conflict. Tadamichi Yamamoto [official bio], the Special Representative of the Secretary General, said, "All parties to the conflict must take immediate concrete measures to protect the ordinary Afghan men, women and children whose lives are being shattered".

The violence caused more than 11,400 civilian casualties, including around 3,500 deaths previous year, according to the annual report by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, or UNAMA, released in Kabul Monday.

According to the report, 61 percent of all civilian casualties were incurred through attacks by the anti-government elements which includes a total of 6,994 civilian casualties (2,131 deaths and 4,863 injured).

Two-thirds of the casualties were caused by anti-government forces such as the Taliban, but a quarter were caused by pro-government forces.


While ground engagements were the main cause of injuries and deaths (38% of casualties), airstrikes conducted by Afghan and global forces led to 590 civilian casualties - double the number recorded in 2015.

More than 900 children were killed in Afghanistan's conflict last year, the United Nations said Monday, calling it the most violent year for children since it started keeping records.

The report also flags the continued danger of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan - 19% of the civilian casualties were caused by such devices.

The UN mission said it documented 11,418 civilian casualties between 1st January 2016 to 31st December, 2016.

"The increased capacity of Daesh/ISKP to strike beyond its perceived areas of influence and presence in eastern Afghanistan exacerbated the escalation in conflict and deteriorating security environment", the report says.

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