Civilian Casualties Still High In Afghanistan's 'Ugly War'

Nearly half of Afghanistan's 34 provinces have seen an increase in civilian deaths

Nearly half of Afghanistan's 34 provinces have seen an increase in civilian deaths

A total of 1,662 civilian deaths were confirmed between January 1 and June 30, a 2 percent increase from the same period previous year, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says in a report released on July 17.

The UN mission said these figures include civilian casualties from suicide and complex attacks -involving more than one perpetrator and two or more forms of weaponry, including suicide IEDs- which killed 259 civilians and injured 892, a 15 per cent increase on comparable figures for the first six months of 2016.

"The human cost of this ugly war in Afghanistan - loss of life, destruction and vast suffering - is too far too high", said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Tadamichi Yamamoto.

"The continued use of indiscriminate, disproportionate and illegal improvised explosive devices is particularly appalling and must immediately stop", he added in a statement.

The figures demonstrate a 10 per cent reduction in civilian casualties from ground engagements the first six months of 2017 compared to the same period past year, with 434 confirmed deaths and 1,375 injuries.

UNAMA also added that many of those casualties occurred in a single attack in Kabul city on 31 May, when a truck bomb killed at least 92 civilians and injured almost 500, the deadliest incident documented by UNAMA since 2001. UNAMA put the civilian death toll at 92, saying it was the deadliest incident to hit the country since 2001.

Women and children have borne the brunt of the increase in civilian casualties, with UNAMA blaming the use of IEDs and aerial operations in populated areas for the jump.

According to the latest report, a total of 1,662 civilian deaths were confirmed between 1 January and 30 June - an increase of two per cent on the same period previous year, according to figures from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

Almost half of Afghanistan's 34 provinces have seen an increase in civilian deaths in the first six months of the year, mainly due to the rise in attacks by anti-government forces.

The ground offensives by Afghan security forces are the second leading cause of civilian casualties, though UNAMA said there had been a 10% decrease compared to the same period in 2016.

According to the UN's figures, more than 26 500 civilians have died and almost 49 000 injured as a result of armed conflict in Afghanistan since January 2009.

Latest News