World Bulletin / News Desk
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released Thursday its first quarterly report documenting 2,181 civilian casualties during the first three months of 2017.
Of this number, 715 were killed, and 1,466 were injured, UNAMA said in the report, renewing its call for ensuring the safety of civilians in the country.
“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," Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s special representative for Afghanistan, was quoted as saying in the report.
As a peace deal between the Taliban and the Afghan government remains out of sight, 2017 is deemed to be yet another year of fighting.
Even before the launch of another series of yearly offensives, the Taliban was able to inflict heavy death toll on the Afghan forces, particularly in an attack on the army’s regional headquarters in northern Balkh province last week that saw up to 150 soldiers dead.
Aqa Noor Kentoz, police chief in southern Helmand province said Wednesday that up to 18,000 policemen had died in the restive province in the last 15 years, corresponding to some 100 policemen each month.
According to the UNAMA report, ground engagements continued to cause most civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices, as well as suicide and complex attacks, consistent with trends in 2016.
The country’s capital, Kabul witnessed the highest number of civilian casualties due to suicide and complex attacks, followed by Helmand, Kandahar, Nangarhar and Uruzgan provinces.
The UN mission blamed anti-government elements for some 62 percent of civilian casualties – 1,353 civilian casualties (447 dead and 906 injured), reflecting a five percent increase compared with the same period in 2016.
It also expressed concern over increases in both child and women civilian casualties, particularly deaths.
According to the report, there was a 24 percent increase in women civilian casualties in the first quarter of the year compared with the same period the year before. Among the 273 women casualties, 88 were dead and 185 injured.
The mission documented 735 child casualties (210 dead and 525 injured) over the same period: a three percent increase compared with the first three months of 2016.Last Mod: 27 Nisan 2017, 16:16