Civilian Deaths In Afghanistan Hit Record High

Remigio Civitarese
Luglio 17, 2018

Another 3,430 people were wounded in the war, down five percent from the same period a year ago, the report said.

The main causes of casualties were ground engagements between security forces and militants, roadside bombs, as well as suicide and other "complex attacks", which caused 22% more casualties than in the same period previous year.

Sunday's report said the biggest cause of civilian casualties continued to be ground engagements between government forces and militant groups, with 360 deaths and 1,134 wounded.

"But this remains an Afghan-led process", O'Donnell said.

"The brief ceasefire demonstrated that the fighting can be stopped and that Afghan civilians no longer need to bear the brunt of the war", Tadamichi Yamamoto, the senior United Nations official in Afghanistan said in a statement.

But the suspension of hostilities was marred by two suicide attacks in the eastern province of Nangarhar that killed dozens of people and were claimed by the militant Islamic State group, which was not part of the ceasefire.

But with heavy fighting seen across the country during the first half the year and repeated suicide attacks in Kabul and major provincial cities like Jalalabad, the report underlines the dire security situation facing Afghanistan.

"We urge parties to seize all opportunities to find a peaceful settlement ─ this is the best way that they can protect all civilians".

UNAMA attributed 52pc of suicide and complex attacks to IS, mainly in Kabul and Nangarhar where the group established a stronghold after emerging in Afghanistan in 2014. The Taliban was responsible for 40 percent.

The comment follows increased diplomatic efforts to seek talks following unprecedented scenes of unarmed Taliban fighters mingling with Afghan security forces on the streets of Kabul and other cities during last month's surprise ceasefire.

The US decision to negotiate directly with the Taliban comes almost a year after President Donald Trump announced his revised South Asia policy, which centred on boosting combat power and pressuring Pakistan in an effort to bring the Afghan war to an end.

More than half of the civilian casualties were caused by the Afghan Air Force.

More than half of the civilian casualties were caused by the Afghan Air Force. "Unidentified Anti-Government Elements" were responsible for the remainder of the attacks, the United Nations said.

UNAMA also recorded 341 civilian casualties in election-related violence ─ a trend that is expected to worsen as the October 20 legislative ballot draws closer.

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