Afghan civilian casualties hit all-time high, says UN

Alicia WestFeb 07, 2017

Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, added: "Children have been killed, blinded, crippled - or inadvertently caused the death of their friends - while playing with unexploded ordnance that is negligently left behind by parties to the conflict".

The United Nations attributed at least 4,953 deaths and injuries to the Taliban, but in a shift in 2016, investigators documented a tenfold increase in casualties caused by Islamic State militants.

The United Nations recorded an alarming 24 percent spike in conflict-related child casualties in Afghanistan and a three percent rise in total civilian casualties in 2016 compared to the year before.

It is often the most vulnerable people who suffer the most.

The Afghan army flushed out the insurgents with the support of American air strikes, and around 100 United States troops were deployed in the city, the first major American presence there since foreign forces withdrew in 2014.

Within hours Afghan forces bolstered by reinforcements and air support repelled the militants, though fighting continued in the outskirts.


The casualties included 923 dead children, a 25 percent rise on the previous highest-recorded figure.

Such airstrikes caused 250 deaths and 340 injuries, almost double the number recorded in 2015 and the highest since 2009.

The provincial police commandment in a statement said a Taliban insurgent was killed in an airstrike conducted in Behmaro area of Chaparhar district.

UNAMA attributed 61 per cent of civilian deaths and injuries to what it called anti-government elements, mainly the Taliban, and 24 per cent to pro-government forces.

The report said antigovernment elements, mainly the Taliban, were responsible for 61% of the civilian casualties past year, while government forces were to blame for 20% and pro-government armed groups and worldwide military forces, 2% each.

The report also documents an increase in attacks from the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria's branch in Afghanistan, known as ISKP.

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