EU seriously concerned about increasing Afghan civilian casualties
At least 1,601 civilian have been killed and 3,565 others injured in the first half of the current year, showing a record surge of four percent compared to the corresponding period in 2015, the UN said on Monday.
Since 2009, 5,166 civilians have been killed or maimed in just the first six months of this year, almost one-third of them children. The total civilian casualty figures recorded between January 2009 and June 30, 2016 have risen to 22,941 deaths and 40,993 injured.
In its latest report, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said this year’s casualties included 1,509 children (388 dead and 1,121 injured) -- the highest numbers of children killed or wounded in a six-month period since 2009.
The EU delegation in Afghanistan in a statement said UNAMA report for the half of 2016 drew a grim picture in terms of Afghan civilian casualties.
It said the highest number of civilian casualties occurred this year since reporting began in 2009. “Even more concerning is that children compose one-third of civilian casualties, which is also the highest figure for children killed or wounded in the same period since reporting began.”
The EU called on all parties to exert the utmost effort to prevent civilian casualties and cease from engaging in operations where civilian casualties were likely, if not intended.
"The increasing number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan is a big concern. The horrific attack on the civilian protesters in Kabul on Saturday showed that use of indiscriminate and random attacks kills and injures more and more innocent Afghans.”
The EU called Saturday’s devastating attack “a clear breach of international humanitarian law and must stop immediately.”
“The increasing trend of civilian casualties must be reversed," said European Union Special Representative and Head of Delegation to Afghanistan, Ambassador Franz-Michael Mellbin.
Download “Pajhwok” mobile App, on your smartphone to read and access latest news, features, interviews, videos and photos about Afghanistan.