AT-KABUL: The United Nations says that more than 8,000 civilians have been killed or injured in the first quarter of the current year in Afghanistan.
“UNAMA (UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan) documented 8,019 civilian casualties from 1 January to 30 September 2017,” the UNAMA said in a statement, with 2,640 deaths and 5,379 injured.
The statement accounts an overall decrease in the casualties of six per cent compared to the same period last year. However, the report points to one per cent increase in deaths, while the number of injured had reduced by nine per cent.
It added that ground engagements caused most casualties in the provinces of Kabul, Helmand, Nangarhar, Kandahar and Faryab.
The report said that 228 civilians were killed and 621 injured by the pro-government forces, while 255 civilians were killed and 895 injured by the anti-government elements in the ground fighting.
298 women were killed and 709 wounded during the first quarter of 2017, according to the report, which says that 689 children were killed and 1,791 injured.
It noted that the number of civilian casualties by the anti-government elements remained at high level, which included attacks targeting civilians.
“Anti-government elements caused the death of 1,760 and injury of 3,407 civilians in the nine months of this year,” it said, adding that there was one per cent decrease from 2016. It attributed 66 per cent of these casualties to Taliban, 10 per cent to Daesh and the rest to unidentified elements.
“Attacks directed against the Shiite population as they attended mosques or other religious ceremonies resulted the death of 84 civilians, while 194 more injured alone, contributing to the increase in women fatalities from suicide and complex attacks.”
The UN reported of 52 per cent increase in the airstrikes. The airstrikes are mostly carried out by the foreign troops. According to the report, 205 civilians were killed and 261 others injured by the airstrikes during the first quarter of the current year.