UN: 3,438 Afghans killed in one year

UN: 3,438 Afghans killed in one year

KABUL – Reuters
UN: 3,438 Afghans killed in one year

More than 3,400 Afghan civilians were killed in violence last year, the United Nations said on Feb. 15, with militant bombings the main cause while air strikes by U.S. and government forces inflicted a rising toll.

U.S. President Donald Trump introduced a more aggressive U.S. strategy in Afghanistan in August including a surge in air strikes. The militants have responded with attacks in Kabul in the past few weeks, killing nearly 150 people.

The overall civilian toll last year of 3,438 killed and 7,015 wounded was 9 percent lower than the previous year. But the figures highlighted the high number of casualties caused by militant bombs, the United Nations said.

“Attacks where anti-government elements deliberately targeted civilians accounted for 27 per cent of the total civilian casualties ... mainly from suicide and complex attacks,” the United Nations said in a statement.

The deadliest attack since the U.N. mission began recording civilian casualties in 2009 was in Kabul on May 31 when a suicide attacker detonated a truck bomb, killing 92 civilians and injuring 491.

Two-thirds of all casualties last year were inflicted by anti-government forces, with the Taliban responsible for 42 percent, Islamic State 10 percent and 13 percent caused by undetermined anti-government elements.

Pro-government forces caused a fifth of civilian casualties with 16 percent attributed to Afghan forces, 2 per cent to international forces and 1 percent each to pro-government armed groups and undetermined pro-government forces, the United Nations said.

Afghanistan, UNITED NATIONS, killed, U.S., Trump