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Civilian casualties slightly fall in 1st quarter of 2017

Civilian casualties slightly fall in 1st quarter of 2017

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Apr 27, 2017 - 10:57

KABULinfo-icon (Pajhwok): In a rare decline, conflict-related civilian casualties saw a two percent decrease the first quarter of the current year, the United Nations said on Thursday.

During the period, 715 civilians were killed and 1,466 injured, the UN Mission in Afghanistaninfo-icon (UNAMA) said in its latest quarterly report.

“It is civilians, with increasing numbers of womeninfo-icon and children, who far too often bear the brunt of the conflict,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the secretary-general’s special representative.

“With the so-called fighting season imminent, I appeal to all parties to take every measure possible to prevent unnecessary and unacceptable harm to Afghan civilians.”

Ground engagements continued to result in most civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices, as well as suicide and complex attacks.

The mission linked the slight fall in casualties to a 19 per cent reduction in civilian deaths and injuries caused by ground engagements between pro-government Forces and rebels.

It noted the record levels of internal displacement during 2016, saying the reduction may be related to the movement of civilians from several areas affected by conflict.

Ground fighting accounted for 35 percent of all civilian casualties, with Kabul province witnessing the highest collateral damage due to suicide and complex attacks.

Kabul was followed by Helmand, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Uruzgan provinces in terms of civilian deaths and injuries.

The UN mission blamed the militants for 62 percent of civilian casualties: 447 deaths and 906 injuries, showing a five percent increase compared to the same period in 2016.

UNAMA also documented attacks on civilian government employees, tribal elders, Shiite mosques, de-miners, NGO workers and civilians perceived to be government supporters.

The period from January to March saw a 24 percent spike in casualties among women and a 3 percent increase for children.

A two percent decrease was recorded in casualties attributed to Afghan security forces and their Western allies, but the report documented a "substantial" and "disturbing" increase in casualties from aistrikes.

At least 72 civilians were killed and 76 others injured in air raids by Afghan and international forces, compared to eight dead and 21 injured in the same period last year.

A 12 per cent increase was also documented in civilian casualties caused by pressure-plate improvised explosive devices - 218 civilian casualties (86 dead and 132 injured).

Nine percent of civilian casualties arose from ground fighting, where the responsible party could not be determined. Unattributed unexploded ordnance caused the majority of the remaining civilian casualties.

Civilian casualties from unexploded ordnance increased by one percent to 203 (50 deaths and 153 injured), of which children accounted for 81 percent.

From January and March 31, the mission documented 17 conflict-related incidents targeting healthinfo-icon-care workers, including the attack on Kabul’s Sardar Mohammad Daud Khan Hospital.

 

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