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08 February 2017, 12:41 | Ella Tate
Civilian deaths rise in Afghanistan
The report also cited a 3% increase in total conflict-related civilian casualties compared to a year ago - the highest number since the the United Nations started documenting the deaths and injuries in the conflict in 2009.
UNAMA documented 11,418 civilian casualties (3,498 deaths and 7,920 injured); marking a two per cent decrease in civilian deaths and six per cent increase in civilians injured.
There was also an increase in civilian casualties caused by... They also documented a 10-fold increase in casualties - 899 deaths and injuries - caused by IS militants, who a year ago launched an increasing number of suicide attacks.
"Yet another record year of civilian suffering in Afghanistan", Tadamichi Yamamoto, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative to Afghanistan and head of the UNAMA, said in a press release.
Air strikes by worldwide warplanes resulted in at least 127 civilian deaths and 108 injuries in 2016, while the Afghan air force accounted for at least 85 deaths and 167 injuries, the United Nations said.
The remaining 1,099 civilian casualties (286 deaths and 813 injured) documented by the mission was attributed to unidentified anti-government elements where there was no public claim of responsibility.
But the jump in child deaths and injuries is a particularly striking and disturbing trend in the mission's annual report entitled "Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict".
The number of child casualties in the long-running Afghan war jumped previous year, spiking 24% from 2015 in large part from unexploded munitions, the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report on Monday.
Afghan security forces caused about 20 per cent of the overall casualties, while pro-government militias and worldwide forces caused two per cent each, the United Nations said. 17% of casualties were a result of "suicide & complex attacks", while 11% were a result of targeted & deliberate killings.
2016 also saw the highest number yet of civilian casualties caused by air strikes - 590, of whom 250 were killed, the report said.
"The alarmingly high figures have prompted the United Nations to call on all warring parties to take urgent steps to keep people safe", the spokesman said.
Yamamoto and Zeid called on all parties to minimize the use of explosive weapons in areas populated by civilians and to ensure explosive remnants of war are removed.
"It is imperative that the perpetrators, whoever they are, be held accountable for such acts".
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