Civilian deaths rise in Afghanistan: UN

A child stands at the site of a car bomb explosion in Laghman Province, Afghanistan. (File photo)

A United Nations report says there has been a sharp increase in civilian casualties in Afghanistan in the first half of the current year.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said on Wednesday that civilian deaths were up23 percent in the six months from a year ago.

The report documented over 1,300 civilian deaths and more than 2,500 injuries for June.

From January to June, the number of civilians killed in war-related incidents rose to 1,319 from 1,158 a year earlier. In the same period, 2,533 civilians were injured, compared with 1,976 in 2012.

The report blames the rise in civilian fatalities on escalated fighting between Taliban militants and government forces.

Roadside bombs remain the biggest killer of Afghan civilians, followed by ground engagement between Afghan forces and anti-government elements, the report noted.

Bomb explosions and improvised explosive devices are by far the most lethal weapons Taliban militants use against Afghan forces, foreign troops, and civilians.

However, the UN report stops short of mentioning civilian casualties caused by the US airstrikes and drone attacks.

A series of US airstrikes have claimed the lives of more than 80 people in different regions of war-ravaged Afghanistan since Monday.

The raids are a source of friction between Kabul and Washington as they often result in civilian deaths. The Afghan government has on numerous occasions warned Washington to stop attacks on innocent civilians.

The United States and its allies invaded Afghanistan in 2001 as part of Washingtonâ„¢s so-called war on terror. The offensive removed the Taliban from power, but insecurity remains high in the country.


Republished from: Press TV