1662 killed, 3581 injured in Afghanistan in 6 months


Insurgent attacks killed 1,141 civilians, a 12 per cent increase over the same period past year, according to the report, which said such attacks wounded another 2,348 people.

According to the UN Mission's 2017 Mid-year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, 1,662 civilian died (up two per cent on the same period last year) and 3,581 were injured (down one per cent) between 1 January and 30 June 2017. These deaths and injuries represent 67 per cent of the total number of civilian casualties, with 43 per cent attributed to the Taliban, five per cent to Islamic State in Khorasan Province (ISKP), and the rest to unidentified attackers.

In May, a massive truck bomb in the heart of the capital, Kabul, detonated by a suicide attacker, killed at least 92 people and wounding almost 500 in what the United Nations called the "deadliest incident documented" since the global military intervention that toppled the Taliban regime in 2001.

UNAMA put the civilian death toll at 92, saying it was the deadliest incident to hit the country since 2001.

"The human cost of this ugly war in Afghanistan - loss of life, destruction and vast suffering - is too far too high", said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Tadamichi Yamamoto. "The continued use of indiscriminate, disproportionate, and illegal improvised explosive devices is particularly appalling and must immediately stop".

More women and children were also among the dead this year.

Insurgent attacks killed 1,141 civilians, a 12% increase over the same period past year, according to the report, which said such attacks wounded another 2,348 people. IEDs from anti-government forces, the majority of which are suicide bombs, account for 40 percent of all civilian casualties in the beginning of 2017.

"Each one of these casualty figures reflects a broken family, unimaginable trauma and suffering, and the brutal violation of people's human rights", said U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein.

Worsening suicide attacks contributed to another grim, record-setting period for civilian casualties in Afghanistan, the United Nations said Monday.

UNAMA annual reports indicate that civilian casualties were on the rise from the withdrawal of many global troops from Afghanistan after 2011 and the official end of NATO's combat mission in 2014.

The report commended Afghanistan's security forces, saying fewer civilians were caught in the crossfire compared to previous year.

Mohammad Arif, a former Afghan National Army officer, told Anadolu Agency that with an evident surge in ground engagements near densely populated urban centers, government forces need to avoid using heavy weapons where there is a risk of civilian casualties.

According to United Nations figures, more than 26,500 civilians have died and almost 49,000 injured as a result of armed conflict in Afghanistan since January 2009.