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UN Warns Of “Unprecedented” Afghan Civilian Casualties From Taliban Offensives



During the primary half of 2021, some 1,659 civilians have been killed. (File)


The United Nations warned Monday that Afghanistan may see the best variety of civilian deaths in additional than a decade if the Taliban’s offensives throughout the nation usually are not halted.

Violence has surged since early May when the insurgents cranked up operations to coincide with a closing withdrawal of US-led international forces.

In a report launched Monday documenting civilian casualties for the primary half of 2021, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) stated it anticipated figures to the touch their highest single-year ranges because the mission started reporting over a decade in the past.

It additionally warned that Afghan troops and pro-government forces have been answerable for 1 / 4 of all civilian casualties.

“Unprecedented numbers of Afghan civilians will perish and be maimed this year if the increasing violence is not stemmed,” UNAMA head Deborah Lyons stated in a press release launched with the report.

“I implore the Taliban and Afghan leaders to take heed to the conflict’s grim and chilling trajectory and its devastating impact on civilians.”

During the primary half of 2021, some 1,659 civilians have been killed and one other 3,254 wounded — a 47 p.c improve in contrast with the identical interval final 12 months, the UNAMA report stated.

The rise in civilian casualties was significantly sharp in May and June — the preliminary interval of the Taliban’s present offensives — with 783 civilians killed and 1,609 wounded, it added.

“Particularly shocking and of deep concern is that women, boys and girls made up of close to half of all civilian casualties,” the report stated.

UNAMA blamed anti-government components for 64 p.c of civilian casualties — together with some 40 p.c brought on by the Taliban and practically 9 p.c by the jihadist Islamic State group.

About 16 p.c of casualties have been brought on by “undetermined” anti-government components.

But Afghan troops and pro-government forces have been answerable for 25 p.c, it stated.

UNAMA stated about 11 p.c of casualties have been brought on by “crossfire” and the accountable events couldn’t be decided.

The Taliban’s ongoing assault has seen the insurgents seize half of Afghanistan’s districts and border crossings in addition to encircle a number of provincial capitals.

The combating is basically within the rugged countryside, the place authorities forces and insurgents conflict day by day.

UNAMA additionally famous a resurgence of sectarian assaults towards the nation’s Shiite Hazara neighborhood, leading to 143 deaths.

(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV workers and is printed from a syndicated feed.)

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