Afghanistan: Highest civilian casualties in 2018

25th Feb 2019
Afghanistan: Highest civilian casualties in 2018

By Shadi Khan Saif

KABUL, Afghanistan (AA): The UN on Sunday said it has documented nearly 11,000 civilian casualties across Afghanistan in 2018, the highest ever figure in the war-torn nation.

A total of 10,993 civilian casualties, including 3,804 deaths and 7,189 injured, were reporter across the country in 2018, said the report released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office.
Among the dead were 927 children, the highest recorded number of boys and girls killed in the conflicts during a single year.
The figure represented a 5 percent increase in overall civilian casualties and an 11 percent increase in civilian deaths compared to 2017, it added. Thus the conflicts in Afghanistan claimed the highest number of civilians last year than any time since records have been kept.
The UN called for the urgent need to seize opportunities for peace in the country as the figure in the report was a clear indicator of intensification of violence.
The report blamed the Taliban and the Daesh/Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISKP) for 67 percent of the last year’s civilian casualties.
This is the UN’s tenth annual report documenting the plight of civilians in the Afghan conflict — more than 32,000 civilians killed and around 60,000 injured in a decade.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, urged all parties to take immediate and additional concrete steps to stop a further escalation in the number of civilians harmed and lives destroyed.
“The conflict in Afghanistan continues to kill far too many civilians and has caused long-lasting suffering, both physical and psychological, to countless others,” said UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Michelle Bachelet.
For the first time since 2009 when it began systematically documenting civilian casualty figures, UNAMA recorded more than 1,000 civilian casualties from aerial operations.
Of these, UNAMA attributed responsibility to international military forces for 632 civilian casualties (393 deaths and 239 injured), and to the Afghan Air Force for 304 civilian casualties (118 deaths and 186 injured).
With the shockwaves of a looming hasty U.S. withdrawal echoing all over, Afghanistan saw a bloody start to 2019 with over 1700 war-related casualties in January alone.
Figures compiled by Anadolu Agency suggest the ragging war went on with full thrust despite the otherwise calm in this time of the year amid harsh winter.
Safe estimates suggest more than 900 people got killed and at least 800 more got injured across Afghanistan in terrorist attacks by the rebels as well as security operations by the Afghan and allied forces.

[Map of Afghanistan by Tubs/Creative-Commons]

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