UN: Afghanistan civilian deaths reach new high at mid-year point
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UN: Afghanistan civilian deaths reach new high at mid-year point

Civilian deaths in Afghanistan have reached a new high at the mid-year point, according to a report [text, PDF] from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) [official website] Monday.

Although there was a slight decrease in casualties (deaths and injuries) overall, there have been more fatalities than in previous years, with nearly 1,700 killed so far in 2018. Since UNAMA started documentation in 2009, almost 15,000 civilians have lost their lives to the armed conflict in Afghanistan.

In June there was an unprecedented ceasefire for three days as a holiday observance occurred, where the only civilian casualties were caused by Islamic State militants—not a party to the ceasefire. A press release [text, PDF] from UNAMA contains a statement from Tadamichi Yamamoto [official website], the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and Head of UNAMA:

The brief ceasefire demonstrated that the fighting can be stopped and that Afghan civilians no longer need to bear the brunt of the war. We urge parties to seize all opportunities to find a peaceful settlement—this is the best way that they can protect all civilians.

UNAMA also reports that deliberate attacks on civilians from anti-government elements are increasing at concerning rates. UNAMA is doing everything possible to prevent more civilian casualties, but they are urging a peaceful resolution, so that the years of unrest [JURIST archive] can come to an end.