3438 civilians killed in Afghanistan a year ago

The number of civilians killed or wounded across the country dipped by a welcome nine percent overall in 2017, the report by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) showed, with 10,453 total civilian casualties including 3,438 deaths and 7,015 wounded.

The 2017 report, launched in Kabul, revealed a decline compared to 2016 when 11,434 casualties - 3,510 dead, 7,924 injured - were recorded, Efe news agency reported.

Pro-government forces caused a fifth of the civilian casualties according to the report, with 16 percent attributed to the Afghan national security forces, two percent to global military forces, one percent each to pro-government armed groups and undetermined pro-government forces. At least 25 terrorists belonging to the Islamic States (IS) group were killed in the airstrikes carried out by the United States in Afghanistan's northern Jawzjan province bordering Turkmenistan, on February 7.

The UNAMA also noted that the number of airstrikes carried out by worldwide military forces and the Afghan air force grew significantly in 2017 which had an impact on the number of casualties.

Afghanistan has always been suffering from an unstable political situation due to the activity of different terrorist groups.

UN Special Representative for Afghanistan, Tadamichi Yamamoto, says, "When we document these appalling civilian casualty figures, it hurts, because it counters the best interests of this country and undermines efforts serving the people of Afghanistan".

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However pro-government forces, including worldwide troops, were responsible for 20 percent of the civilian casualties - a seven percent increase from 2016.

In their statement, the Taliban did not mention a January 27 raid on a top Kabul hotel, in which more than 30 people were killed, nor a bomb attack on a crowded street a week later that killed more than 100. It may be mentioned that United Nations started documenting the casualties in Afghanistan in 2009 and it had no data of human causalities from 2001 to 2009.

"You should ask your generals that despite using such force, have you retaken even a single inch of land from the Taliban", the document asked. Aerial operations accounted for 6 percent of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2017.

Aerial operations accounted for 6 percent of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan a year ago, the report said.

Other protection measures adopted by the Government included a national policy to prevent civilian casualties and ratification of the 1980 Convention on Certain Conventional Weapon instruments, which under Protocol V directs clearance of explosive remnants of war.

UNAMA Report 2017 gives us a competitive study of last eight years-from 2009-to 2017. Eighty-one per cent of the victims were children and many of those who survived lost limbs or eyes, and suffered other serious injuries and psychological trauma, limiting their prospects for a normal life.


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