Afghan civilians killed, 7920 wounded in 2016: UNAMA
A total of 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 were wounded in conflicts there in 2016 - a combined increase of three percent over the previous year - United Nations investigators said.
The United Nations recorded an alarming 24 percent spike in conflict-related child casualties in Afghanistan and a three percent rise in total civilian casualties in 2016 compared to the year before.
"The killing and maiming of thousands of Afghan civilians is deeply harrowing and largely preventable", Yamamoto said.
It attributed 61 percent of civilian deaths and injuries to anti-government elements, mainly the Taliban.
"This appalling conflict destroys lives and tears communities apart in every corner of Afghanistan", the report quoted Tadamichi Yamamoto, United Nations Special Representative of the Secretary-General for Afghanistan, as saying. The deaths themselves were a 2 percent drop from 2015, but the injuries jumped by six percent.
The U.N. mission said the almost 25 percent increase in child deaths from the previous year was largely caused by mines and munitions left over from decades of conflict.
The 2016 Annual Report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict in Afghanistan, released on 6 February, documents 11,418 civilian casualties, including 3,498 deaths and 7,920 wounded, an overall 3% rise from the previous year.
Two-thirds of the casualties were caused by anti-government forces such as the Taliban, but a quarter were caused by pro-government forces.
Within hours Afghan forces bolstered by reinforcements and air support repelled the militants, though fighting continued in the outskirts.
At least 899 deaths and injuries were attributed to Islamic State, which has been a relatively minor faction in Afghanistan, but a year ago launched an increasing number of suicide attacks. Of those pro-government forces, it attributed 20 per cent to the Afghan national security forces, 2 per cent to pro-government armed groups and 2 per cent to worldwide military forces. The group caused 899 civilian casualties, up from 82 in 2015, according to the report.
It documented a 66 percent increase in such deaths in 2016. "The nature of attacks perpetrated by Daesh/ISKP is indicative of attempts to expand the conflict along sectarian lines, further compounding concerns for the protection of civilians".
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