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UN records highest number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan for any year

[JURIST] According to the annual UN report [report, PDF], civilian casualties in Afghanistan for 2016 were at a record high. A total of 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 were wounded. Of the dead, 923 were children [UN report], as were 2,589 of the injured. The report also documents that the Taliban caused almost two-thirds of the casualties and pro-government forces caused almost one-quarter. Tadamichi Yamamoto [official profile], the Special Representative of the Secretary General, said, "All parties to the conflict must take immediate concrete measures to protect the ordinary Afghan men, women and children whose lives are being shattered."

The current conflict in Afghanistan is one of a long line of conflicts in the country, which continue to expose its citizens to rigorous living conditions and exposes them to harm. In November the International Criminal Court stated that during the war in 2001, the US may have been guilty of committing war crimes [JURIST report] against the Afghan people. In October the UN released a report finding that an attack by Islamic State militants [JURIST report] on a peaceful demonstration may have been a war crime. Also in October a German court ruled [JURIST report] that there would be no compensation to Afghan families that were victims of a 2009 airstrike, due to no compensation for violation of international humanitarian law. In September the UN called for an investigation [JURIST report] into a US airstrike that killed 15 people in Afghanistan, which was intended to target Islamic State (IS) militants.

A previous version of this article incorrectly indicated that the attack was carried out by Afghan security forces.
February 8, 2017 12:45 PM

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