Afghanistan: 10000 civilian casualties in 2017

Laura Christensen
February 16, 2018

Raging violence in Afghanistan killed and wounded over 10,000 people a year ago, with a terrible rise in the number of women and child casualties, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office stated on Thursday.

Airstrikes - which are carried out only by the United States-led global forces, in an operation now called Resolute Support, and the Afghan Air Force, not by the Taliban and their allies - killed 295 civilian bystanders and wounded 336 more, the report said.

UN's latest report indicates the death toll for Afghan civilians amid air attacks to be mounting, while the number of deaths and injuries in Afghanistan's battle to have decreased previous year.

The UN also points out that airstrikes by worldwide and Afghan forces caused more casualties than the previous year.

But the total number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan last year decreased by nearly a tenth, or nine percent, compared to the year before.

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

"The success of the Afghan operations around the country, supported by Resolute Support and U.S. forces, have caused the enemy high casualties everywhere", he said.

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The second leading cause of civilian casualties in 2017 was ground engagements between anti-government elements and pro-government forces, although there was a decrease of 19 per cent from the record levels seen in 2016.

The capital remained a top target, with 16 percent of all casualties during the year - a total of 1,831 people killed and wounded - occurring in Kabul alone.

Danielle Bell, a United Nations official for human rights in Afghanistan, said the reduction "is an important step" but cautioned that 2017 was the "fourth consecutive year, where the emission recorded more than 10,000 civilian causalities". Aerial operations accounted for 6 percent of all civilian casualties in Afghanistan in 2017.

The report blamed the Islamic State's Afghan branch for 1,000 civilian casualties - 399 killed and 601 wounded.

Since the war began in October 2001, the United States has spent almost $877 billion, including about $45 billion allocated for this year alone. "The Taliban had been making last efforts for their presence in Helmand and some security forces suffered casualties due to recent fighting", he added.

A spate of bombings last month in Kabul fueled anger against the Taliban across the country, and prompted the Trump administration to close the doors for peace talks with the Islamic insurgents.

In line with the overall reduction in civilian casualties in 2017, child casualties decreased by 10 percent, compared to 2016. The strike killed 10 children and three women in the house, according to witnesses who spoke to United Nations researchers.

Other reports by My Hot News

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