Afghan civilian casualties hit new high: UN
KABUL (Pajhwok): Civilian casualties in the ongoing conflict hit a new high this year, as foreign combat troops leave the country in less than two weeks, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.
Nicholas Haysom, the UNAMA head, said: “Civilian casualties are a particularly tragic and very prominent part, even benchmark, of the horror of the violence that ordinary Afghans face.”
He told reporters in New York as of 30 November, UNAMA had recorded more civilian deaths and injuries during 2014 than in any other year since it began its authoritative reports in 2009.
Civilian casualties rose by 19 percent from last year, said Haysom, flanked by Georgette Gagnon, the director of UNAMA Human Rights. These casualties resulted mostly from ground engagements, IEDs and suicide attacks.
Insurgents were responsible for at least 75 percent of the casualties, according to Ms. Gagnon, who said 3,188 civilian were killed and 6,429 injured in the first 11 months of the year. Children casualties increased by 33 percent. Similarly, casualties among women went up by 12 percent.
The UN mission had been in discussions with all parties, including the Taliban, to strengthen mitigating measures to limit the impact of the conflict on civilians, the secretary-general’s special representative said..
“Why do we document injuries? Because they devastate families, communities and individuals, leaving many with very serious physical disabilities and affecting family livelihoods and futures,” Gagnon said.
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