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UN notes 16pc rise in civilian casualties

UN notes 16pc rise in civilian casualties

Oct 03, 2013 - 12:42

JALALABAD (PANinfo-icon): Afghan civilian casualties have mounted by 16 percent during the first eight months of the current year, compared to the same period last in 2012, a senior UN official says.

The situation in the eastern zone, where a 54 per cent increase had been recorded in civilian casualties in Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar and Nuristan provinces, was even graver, said UNAMA’s human rights director.

Georgette Gagnon told a news conference in Jalalabad, the capital of Nangarhar: “Nineteen percent of all civilian casualties in Afghanistaninfo-icon took place in the eastern region in the first eight months of 2013.”

In the four eastern province, the UN mission registered a total of 499 civilian casualties -- 81 fatalities and 418 injuries, indicating a 63 percent increase over 2012.

She accused insurgent groups of causing most of civilian deaths and injuries, saying: "Their activities, not limited to violence, include intimidation, threat and abduction of civilians."

UNAMA had documented a new trend of increasing civilian casualties during ground engagements between Afghan forces and anti-government groups, which often took place in populated areas, she added.

At meetings government officials and members of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission and civil societyinfo-icon during her three-day visit to the eastern zone she raised the issue of protecting civilians.

Gagnon also discussed with her interlocutors elimination of violence against womeninfo-icon, their participation in next year's elections and treatment of prisoners. "We reinforced our call to parties to the conflict to take all measures to protect civilians."



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