1,662 Afghan civilians killed and 3,581 wounded since January: UNAMA
AVA-UNAMA said extreme harm to civilians continued amid a worsening toll from suicide attacks, and a greater impact on women and children.
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 last year, according to figures from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
The number of civilians injured in the same period fell one per cent to 3,581.
The reports highlights that 40 per cent of all civilian casualties during the six-month period were killed or injured by anti-government forces using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), such as suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices, which were responsible for the deaths of 596 civilians and injured 1,483.
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.
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 nearly 500, the deadliest incident documented by UNAMA since 2001.
The report makes a series of recommendations, including calling on anti-government forces to stop targeting civilians and to enforce directives from the Taliban leadership calling for an end to such attacks.
In the meantime, UNAMA commends Afghan security forces for their continued efforts to reduce civilian casualties resulting from ground engagements, which represent the second leading cause of deaths and injuries.
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 last year, with 434 confirmed deaths and 1,375 injuries. The decrease is attributed to a reduction in casualties caused by indirect and/or explosive weapons, mostly mortars, used by pro-government forces.