UN warns of unprecedented civilian deaths in Afghanistan; civilian casualties up nearly 50 percent

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afganistan (UNAMA) said it was concerned about the increasing number of reports of killing, ill-treatment, persecution, and discrimination in communities living in and near the fighting zones in the war-torn countr

Jul 26, 2021
Image
Civilian deaths in Afghanistan

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afganistan (UNAMA) said it was concerned about the increasing number of reports of killing, ill-treatment, persecution, and discrimination in communities living in and near the fighting zones in the war-torn country. The civilian casualties recorded around 47 percent increase in the first six months of the year.

It also warned that Afghanistan could see the highest number of civilian deaths in more than a decade if the Taliban’s offensives are not stopped.

In the six-monthly report, released by UNAMA on Monday, it stated the pursuit of a military solution will only increase the suffering of the Afghan people and warned that Afghan troops and pro-government forces were responsible for a quarter of all civilian casualties.

In the first six months of the current year, some 1,659 civilians were killed and another 3,254 wounded, a 47 percent jump in comparison to the same period last year, the UNAMA report said. 


In May and June--the initial period of the Taliban’s current offensives – 783 civilians were killed and 1,609 wounded, it added.

Importantly, the report also blamed anti-government elements for 64 percent of civilian casualties, including some 40 percent caused by the Taliban and nearly nine percent by Daesh. Afghan troops and pro-government forces were responsible for 25 percent of killings, reported highlighted.

Almost 11 percent were caused by crossfire.

According to the UNAMA, women comprised 14 percent of all civilian casualties during this period, with a total of 727 women casualties recorded (219 killed and 508 injured), an increase of 82 percent compared with the first six months of last year.

The report also recorded 39 incidents of targeted killings that resulted in women casualties, women appeared to have been the main target in 18 of the incidents, resulting in four women killed and 25 women injured.

The high casualty toll among children was also concerning with 682 child casualties (468 killed and 1,214 injured) documented in this period. This was a 55 percent increase compared to the first six months of last year, the report highlighted.

The Taliban has rejected the report. 

“Unprecedented numbers of Afghan civilians will perish and be maimed this year if the increasing violence is not stemmed,” UNAMA head Deborah Lyons said in a statement released with the report. “I implore the Taliban and Afghan leaders to take heed to the conflict’s grim and chilling trajectory and its devastating impact on civilians.”

(SAM)

Tweets about SAMonitor
SAM Facebook

Newsletter Subscription

The subscriber's email address.
Stay informed - subscribe to our newsletter.