Monday, September 01, 2014


Afghanistan

UN Says Afghan Civilian Casualties Rose 14 Percent In 2013

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By RFE/RL
The UN says the number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan rose 14 percent last year.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its annual report that a total of 8,615 civilian casualties were recorded in 2013 -- 2,959 killed and 5,656 wounded.

That is 14 percent more than in 2012.

The UN also said that the number of children killed and wounded jumped by 34 percent last year.

"Regarding women and children, the report documented that there was the most civilian deaths and injuries this year for women and children since 2009," UNAMA human rights director, Georgette Gagnon, told reporters in Kabul on february 8. "Women casualties rose by 36 percent compared to last year and children's casualties rose by 34 percent. Women and children were by-and-large large killed and injured by IED's, improvised explosive devices, the second leading cause of injuries and deaths to women and children were these ground engagements."

The report blamed insurgents for 74 percent of the civilian casualties.

"There are groups that are boasting about killing civilians and making statements how good it is that civilians are being targeted and killed," UNAMA head Jan Kubis told reporters. "These groups should understand that this might border on war crimes. It is a violation of their obligations according to the International Humanitarian Law. And they will be held accountable sooner or later."

Afghan police and army were responsible for 8 percent of the casualties and international coalition forces for 3 percent, the report said, while 10 percent could not be blamed solely on either side and the responsibility for the remaining 5 percent was unknown.

Afghan police and army were responsible for 8 percent of the casualties and international coalition forces for 3 percent, the report said, while 10 percent could not be blamed solely on either side and the responsibility for the remaining 5 percent was unknown.


With reporting by AFP, AP, and Reuters

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