Afghan civilian casualties rise 15%: UN report

09:23, July 15, 2011      

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Georgette Gagnon, Director of Human Rights of UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), addresses a press conference in Kabul, capital of Afghanistan, on July 14, 2011. The number of civilians killed in the Afghan war in the first half of 2011 rose 15 percent, the United Nations said here in a mid-year report on Thursday. (Xinhua/Omid)

Afghan civilian casualties rose 15 percent in the first half of this year, the United Nations said in mid-year report released here on Thursday.

"UNAMA (United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) documented 1,462 civilian deaths in the first six months of 2011, an increase of 15 percent over the same period of 2010," the report said.

The report attributed 80 percent of the civilian deaths in the first six months of this year to the attack of Taliban insurgents and other armed groups opposing the Afghan government.

Another 14 percent of the deaths were attributed to Pro- Government Forces, down 9 percent from the same period of last year, and 6 percent were unattributed, said the report.

The main trends that led to rising civilian casualties, according to the report, were increased in widespread use of Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs), suicide attacks and intensified campaign of targeted killings, increased ground fighting and a rise in civilian deaths from air strikes.

Often NATO-led forces use air raids during operations against Taliban militants in Afghanistan.

According to the report, UNAMA had also documented 2,144 injuries in the first half of this year in Afghanistan, which indicates 10 percent increase compared to the first six months of last year.
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