London [U.K.]: According to newly released figures by the United Nations, the number of civilian deaths in the Afghan war has reached a record high.
During the 16-year war, the number of deaths of women and children grew especially fast, mostly due to ‘homemade bombs’ by Taliban which caused 40% of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2017.
Child casualties increased by 9% to 436, compared with the same period last year, and 1,141 children were wounded.
Female deaths rose by 23%, with 174 women killed and 462 injured, the report states.
US and Afghan airstrikes also contributed to the surge in civilian victims, with a 43% increase in casualties from the air, the figures showed.
The head of the UN’s Afghanistan mission Tadamichi Yamamoto, said the human cost of the Afghanistan war, including death, destruction and suffering, is high.
“The continued use of indiscriminate, disproportionate and illegal improvised explosive devices [IEDs] is particularly appalling and must immediately stop,” he said.
The worst attack on civilians occurred in the Afghan capital, Kabul, on 31 May, when a truck bomb killed at least 150 people, resulting in nearly one-quarter of the 596 civilian deaths from IEDs in 2017.
Meanwhile in the countryside, bombs in fields or left in abandoned houses are giving a slow yet steady death toll, with 1,483 civilians injured and many suffering amputations.
Of the 232 civilian casualties from 48 aerial operations, 114 were caused by Afghans and 85 by Americans. (ANI)