UN report reveals horrors of war in Afghanistan, 1,601 civilian deaths in six months

Kabul, July 25 : The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Monday released a report revealing that at least 5,166 civilians were killed or maimed in just the first six months of this year, of whom almost one-third were children.

The UN mission said the civilian casualties in the country have reached to a record number since counting began in 2009.

The total civilian casualty figure recorded by the UN between 1 January 2009 and 30 June 2016 has risen to 63,934, including 22,941 deaths and 40,993 injured, reports the Tolo News.

According to the report, between January and June this year, the Human Rights UNAMA documented 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injured civilians, including 1,509 children (388 dead and 1,121 injured) and 507 women casualties (130 killed and 377 injured).

UNAMA said this represents an increase of four percent in the total number of casualties compared to the first six months of 2015 - and is the highest half-year total since 2009.

The Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA Tadamichi Yamamoto said, "Every single casualty documented in this report represents a failure of commitment and should be a call to action for parties to the conflict to take meaningful, concrete steps to reduce civilians' suffering and increase protection." According to the UN mission, the anti-government elements remain responsible for 60 percent of the civilian casualties while the mission documented 1,180 civilian casualties attributable to pro-Government forces, which is 23 percent of the total so far this year, but a 47 percent increase compared to the same period last year, primarily as a result of ground engagements.

Ground engagements continue to cause the highest number of civilian casualties, followed by complex and suicide attacks and improved explosive devices (IEDs).