Afghanistan's Civilian Casualties Hit Record High in 2016

Afghanistan's Civilian Casualties Hit Record High in 2016

Afghanistan's Civilian Casualties Hit Record High in 2016

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

A report by the U.N. Assistance Mission to Afghanistan on Monday said civilian casualties in the conflict between government forces and insurgents went up 3% from 2015 and included 3,498 dead and 7,920 wounded.

"The killing and maiming of thousands of Afghan civilians is deeply harrowing and largely preventable", Tadamichi Yamamoto, the United Nations secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan, said in a statement. The report said that the disproportionate rise in child casualties across Afghanistan in 2016 resulted mainly from a 66-per cent increase in casualties from left-over or discarded munitions.

That marked a 2-per cent decrease in civilian deaths and a 6-per cent increase in civilians wounded, amounting to an overall 3-per cent increase in casualties compared to 2015. 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".

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At least 899 deaths and injuries were attributed to Islamic State, which has been a relatively minor faction in Afghanistan, but previous year launched an increasing number of suicide attacks.

Afghan security forces caused about 20 percent of the overall casualties, while pro-government militias and global forces caused 2 percent each.

In November, US forces conceded that an air strike had "very likely" killed at least 30 civilians in the Kunduz area, many of them children, triggering impassioned protests in the city. The increase of casualties among children was 24%, with 923 deaths and 2,589 wounded, the report said.

UNAMA's report Monday charted a 10-fold increase in civilian casualties blamed on Islamic State - 899, including 209 deaths.

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