• UN: Afghan civilian casualties down in 2012

UN: Afghan civilian casualties down in 2012

19 February 2013

The United Nations says the number of civilians killed in Afghanistan dropped by 12 per cent in 2012 - the first reduction in six years.

Its annual report on the Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict added that there was also only a  “minimal” increase in civilian injuries compared to 2011.

Overall, it said, 2,754 civilians were killed and 4,805 were wounded in 2012 as a result of the armed conflict.

According to the UN, 14,728 Afghan civilians have lost their lives in the armed conflict over the past six years.

However, it added that the number of targeted killings by insurgents rose by 108 per cent, while  “targeted killings and injuries of government civilian employees increased by a staggering 700 per cent”.

The number of Afghan women and girls killed in 2012 also rose by 20 per cent.  And, the report added, “UNAMA notes  with deep concern that women and girls killed and injured from incidents of targeted killings more than tripled in 2012, resulting in 51 casualties compared with 16 in 2011”.

These included the targeted killing of two directors of the Department of Women’s Affairs in Laghman province.

The UN attributed some 81 per cent of civilian casualties in 2012 to “anti-government elements”.