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UN Envoy Says Afghan Civilian Deaths Declined 20 Percent

Jan Kubis, UN special representative for Afghanistan

Jan Kubis, UN special representative for Afghanistan

The United Nations envoy to Afghanistan, Jan Kubis, says civilian casualties in that country have dropped 20 percent so far this year.

Kubis said the factors include less fighting in the first four months of the year compared to previous years.

The former Slovak foreign minister also said Afghan government forces and NATO-led troops were making extra efforts to reduce civilian casualties while conducting their operations against Taliban militants.

In the interview, Kubis declined to reveal the UN's official statistics for the number of Afghans killed and injured in the January-April period.

He said, however, that the tally would be published before the NATO summit in Chicago later this month, when NATO leaders will discuss Afghanistan's future.

Based on reporting by Reuters