Over 3400 civilians killed in 2017 in Afghanistan
- Author: Ryan Wade Feb 16, 2018,
Feb 16, 2018, 4:48
"The chilling statistics provide credible data about the war's impact, but the figures alone can not capture the appalling human suffering inflicted on ordinary people, especially women and children", UNAMA chief Tadamichi Yamamoto said.
Airstrikes - which are carried out only by the United States-led worldwide forces, in an operation now called Resolute Support, and the Afghan Air Force, not by the Taliban and their allies - killed 295 civilian bystanders and wounded 336 more, the report said.
The militant group said the war has borne tremendous casualties on both sides and killed thousands of innocents including 3,546 American and foreign soldiers.
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The report also found that the number of air strikes conducted by Afghan air forces and the worldwide coalition increased "significantly" - and with it the number of strike-related deaths.
Pro-Government Forces caused a fifth of civilian casualties: 16 per cent were attributed to the Afghan national security forces, two per cent to global military forces, one per cent each to pro-Government armed groups and undetermined pro-Government forces. It was the first annual decline in overall civilian casualties since 2012.
The war in Afghanistan, now called Operation Resolute Support, has been ongoing since October 7, 2001. The U.S. and North Atlantic Treaty Organisation forces formally concluded their combat mission at the end of 2014 and shifted to a training role, but a resurgent Taliban stepped up their attacks and an affiliate of the Islamic State group has also emerged.
Report states that over 28,000 civilians have been killed and over 52,000 wounded in Afghanistan since 2009.
Almost 2,300 civilians were killed or wounded in suicide bombings and attacks in Afghanistan in 2017, more than any previous year of the conflict on record, a United Nations report said on Thursday.
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Unattributed cross-fire during ground engagements between anti-government elements and pro-government forces caused 11 percent of the civilian casualties.
"I am particularly appalled by the continued indiscriminate and unlawful use of IEDs such as suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices in civilian populated areas", he said. "While emphasizing that no civilian casualties are acceptable, the reduced harm ratio suggests improvements", it said.
Unama documented "a disturbing increase in attacks against places of worship, religious leaders, and worshippers" which amounted to 499 civilian casualties, including 202 deaths, during the 38 attack in 2017. "The Taliban had been making last efforts for their presence in Helmand and some security forces suffered casualties due to recent fighting", he added. There was also a significant increase in sectarian-motivated attacks, including the deadliest single attack from a large suicide vehicle in Kabul last May. The strike killed 10 children and three women in the house, according to witnesses who spoke to United Nations researchers.
"When we document these appalling civilian causality figures, it hurts, because it counters the best interest of this country", Yamamoto told reporters in Kabul on Thursday.
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