• Drop in Civilian Casualties, says UN

Drop in Civilian Casualties, says UN

08 August 2012

The UN says there's been a drop in the number of Afghan civilians killed or wounded in conflict-related violence in the first half of this year.

The UN mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, says some 3,099 civilians were killed or injured between January and the end of June - a fall of 15 per cent compared to the same period last year.  This figure includes 1,145 deaths and 1,954 wounded.  The UN says that although the latest figures reverse a trend which has seen civilian casualties increase over the past five years, the violence is continuing to take a devastating toll on Afghans.

UNAMA said "anti-government elements" were responsible for around 80 per cent of overall civilian casualties during this period, with operations by "pro-government forces" causing around 10 per cent.   A further 10 per cent of casualties could not be attributed to any party to the conflict.

Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) remained the leading cause of conflict-related deaths.  UN officials warned that the use of IEDs against civilians was on the rise.  It also noted a 53 per cent increase in targeted killings of pro-government officials during this period, along with a rise in the number of attacks on schools.

Source: UNAMA website