Civilian Death Toll At Record High In Afghanistan


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Vandana Rambaran Political Reporter
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In the first six months of 2018, 1,692 civilians were killed in Afghanistan, the highest numbers ever recorded for this period in the last decade since the agency began keeping count, according to a report released by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).

“In the first six months of 2018, the armed conflict continued to destroy the lives and livelihoods of civilians at the same toxic levels as last year,” the Sunday report stated.

Although there has been a 1 percent increase in deaths, there has been a 5 percent decrease in the number of people injured, UNAMA reported. The total number of casualties, which include the death toll along with 3,430 people injured, has brought the total to 5,122 people, a 3 percent decrease altogether.

Improvised explosive devices (IED) used for suicide bombings and other attacks were the leading cause of death and injury in Afghanistan, UNAMA reported. There was a 22 percent increase or 1,413 civilian casualties in attacks that used IEDs, with 1,413 civilian casualties. IEDs claimed the lives of 427 people, injuring 986 others. More than half of these attacks were carried out by Daesh/ISKP, a branch of the Islamic State, mostly in Kabul and Nangarhar province, while 40 percent of these attacks were perpetrated by the Taliban.

The second leading cause of civilian casualties was ground engagements, despite these numbers dropping by 18 percent since last year.

“UNAMA continued to document the toxic consequences of this conflict, with Afghan boys and girls killed, maimed, sexually assaulted, abused, recruited and used by parties to the conflict,” Danielle Bell, UNAMA’s human rights chief, said in the report. “Conflict related violence continued to erode the rights of children to education, healthcare, freedom of movement and other fundamental rights, as well as family life, playing outdoors and simply enjoying a childhood free of the brutal effects of war.” (RELATED: White House Will Initiate Talks With Taliban To End War In Afghanistan)

Despite the casualties for women and children seeing an overall drop of 15 percent for each, 157 women died and 387 were injured in the past six months, while 363 children were killed and 992 injured compared to numbers from the same time last year.

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