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Rise in Afghan civilian deaths

The number of civilians killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict rose 31% in the first six months of the year, and anti-government forces caused about three-quarters of the casualties, according to a report by the United Nations.

Following the release of the report in the capital Kabul, Staffan de Mistura, the top UN envoy in Afghanistan, said: "The human cost of this conflict is unfortunately rising".

He added: "We are worried. We are concerned. We are very concerned about the future because the human cost is being paid too heavily by civilians. This report is a wake-up call."

According to the UN report, 1,271 Afghans died and 1,997 were injured - mostly from roadside bombings - in the first six months of the year.

The UN in Afghanistan said anti-government forces were responsible for 76% of the casualties - up from 53% last year.

"If they want to be part of a future Afghanistan, they cannot do so over the bodies of so many civilians," Mr de Mistura said.

The report said that 386, or 12%, of the Afghan casualties were due to US, Nato and other pro-government forces.

Overall, the report said the number of children killed or wounded has risen 55% compared with the same six-month period last year, with 176 children killed and 389 injured.


From Belfast Telegraph