Afghanistan's Civilian Casualties Hit Record High in 2016

The UN said Afghan security forces caused about 20 percent of the overall casualties
The UN said Afghan security forces caused about 20 percent of the overall casualties
Author

08 February, 2017

Of the overall casualty numbers, 3,512 were children, of which 923 were killed and 2,589 injured - a 24 percent increase over the highest number previously recorded.

According to the report, civilian casualties incurred by the loyalists of the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) terrorist group operating in Afghanistan, has increased by nearly 10 times.

The report details more than 11,400 conflict-related civilian casualties, the highest figure since the United Nations began systematically documenting casualty figures in 2009, he noted.

"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.

In order to prevent the exacerbation of an already dire humanitarian crisis, the UNAMA has called upon all parties in the conflict to note the consequences of their violent actions.

Afghan security forces caused about 20 per cent of the overall casualties, while pro-government militias and global forces caused 2 per cent each. Both Afghan government forces and the Taliban are responsible for failing to clear civilian-populated areas of explosive remnants from the fighting.

Nearly 1.000 children killed in Afghanistan in 2016, the highest number on record

The remaining 1,099 civilian casualties (286 deaths and 813 injured) documented by the mission was attributed to unidentified anti-government elements where there was no public claim of responsibility.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) attributed the disproportionate jump in child casualties in 2016 mainly to a 66% increase in casualties from leftover or discarded munitions. 17% of casualties were a result of "suicide & complex attacks", while 11% were a result of targeted & deliberate killings. A total of 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 wounded in the conflict in 2016.

"Women continue to be brutally punished in parallel so-called "justice" processes while religious minorities are targeted as they pray in their mosques", he added.

The UN's High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, said the emergence of Islamic State in Afghanistan was an "additional, deadly component" to almost four decades of conflict. Yamamoto condemned the unrelenting impact of ground engagements on civilians.

The report also flags the continued danger of improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in Afghanistan - 19% of the civilian casualties were caused by such devices.

James Hogan to leave Etihad
Last month, Etihad Airways also revealed plans to create a new European leisure airline group in a joint venture with TUI AG. A codeshare agreement with Lufthansa and an aircraft leasing agreement between airberlin and Lufthansa were also announced .


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