United Nations condemns jump in Afghan civilian deaths

18 July, 2017, 04:02 | Author: Valerie Burke
  • UN Report: Civilian Casualties Still High In Afghanistan's 'Ugly War'

These deaths and injuries represent 67 percent of the total civilian casualties, with 43 percent attributed to the Taliban, 5 percent to Daesh in the Khorasan province, and the rest to unidentified attackers.

Suicide and complex attacks (related to insurgent attacks on installations) increased by 15 percent during this period, with 3,581 people injured between January 1 and June 30, the report added.

Worsening suicide attacks contributed to another grim, record-setting period for civilian casualties in Afghanistan, the United Nations said Monday. It was the single deadliest incident documented by UNAMA since 2001, according to the report.

"The human cost of this ugly war in Afghanistan - loss of life, destruction and huge suffering - is far too high", Tadamichi Yamamoto, the United Nations special envoy to Afghanistan, said in a statement.

A new mid-year report released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan revealed on Monday that the number of civilian casualties from the continued war, remains at a two-year high, .

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.

UNAMA has blamed the majority of civilian casualties on the Taliban, Islamic State (IS, formerly ISIS/ISIL) and other anti-government groups and their "unlawful use of IED [improvised explosive device] tactics... in civilian-populated areas - particularly suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices".

"Many Afghan civilians are suffering psychological trauma, having lost family and friends, and are living in fear knowing the risks they face as they go about their daily lives".

Deaths in the capital Kabul accounted for almost 20 percent of the toll.

The report concludes with recommendations to the Government of Afghanistan, anti-government groups and worldwide military forces offering aid to "support their efforts to protect civilians, prevent civilian casualties and uphold their obligations under global humanitarian and human rights law".

The shocking figures comes as Jared Kushner, Trump's son-in-law, Erik Prince, founder of Blackwater, the all-purpose mercenary army, along with Stephen Feinberg, a New York-based financier who owns and controls, DynCorp International, the largest USA contractor in Afghanistan, consider plans to turn the war on Afghanistan into "private military units", according to The Nation. Attacks by anti-government groups in which improvised explosives were used, were responsible for at least 40 percent of all civilian casualties.

The highest numbers of casualties occurred in provinces of Kabul, Helmand, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Uruzgan, Faryab, Herat, Laghman, Kunduz, and Farah.

Yamamoto called on antigovernment forces to immediately stop the use of IEDs. The UNAMA praised pro-government forces for a decrease in casualties from national security efforts and encouraged a further reduction throughout the remainder of 2017. But Afghans also suffer at the hands of government and allied forces, sometimes as they come across their unexploded ordnance.

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