Taliban scorn UN report as a propaganda campaign
A statement from the insurgents’ group said: “The report published by the UNAMA is a propaganda campaign against Taliban and a conspiracy hatched in connivance with the Kabul government. The report is baseless and far from reality.”
Earlier in the day, the UNAMA said, the Afghan conflict continued to exact a heavy toll on Afghan civilians in the first six months of 2015, with civilian casualties projected to equal or exceed the record high numbers documented in 2014.
Released today, UNAMA’s 2015 Midyear Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict documented 4,921 civilian casualties (1,592 deaths and 3,329 injured) in the first half of 2015, a one per cent increase in total civilian casualties compared to the same period in 2014.
The vast majority – or 90 per cent – of civilian casualties resulted from ground engagements, improvised explosive devices, complex and suicide attacks and targeted killings, according to the report, prepared in coordination with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights.
Fighting between the parties to the conflict that could not be attributed to one specific party caused 10 per cent of civilian casualties while unattributed explosive remnants of war caused the remaining four per cent.
Ground engagements between parties to the conflict caused 1,577 civilian casualties (379 deaths and 1,198 injured) – a 19 per cent decrease – yet remained the leading cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
Similarly, improvised explosive devices caused 1,108 civilian casualties (385 deaths and 723 injured) – a 21 per cent decrease – while remaining the second leading cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.
The slight rise in civilian harm recorded in the first half of 2015 is primarily a result of increased civilian casualties from suicide and complex attacks and targeted killings – the third and fourth leading causes of civilian casualties respectively.
Suicide and complex attacks executed by anti-government elements caused 1,022 civilian casualties (183 deaths and 839 injured), a 78 per cent increase compared to the first six months of 2014. Civilian casualties from targeted killings increased by 57 per cent, causing 699 civilian casualties (440 deaths and 259 injured) and became the leading cause of civilian deaths, despite being the fourth leading cause of overall civilian casualties (deaths and injured combined).
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