Pro-Afghan gov’t forces responsible for more deaths – UN

Airstrikes and ground operations by government forces in Afghanistan killed more civilians than did anti-government elements in the first six months of the year, according to a UN report.

The report published on Tuesday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that while militants caused the majority of combined civilian deaths and injuries, pro-government forces killed more civilians.

Afghan security forces and foreign allies killed 717 civilians while militants killed 531. In total, 1,366 civilians were killed in the conflict, a 21-per-cent decrease on the same period last year.

However, the total number of people killed or injured by pro-government forces rose to 1,397, a 31 per cent increase, with search operations and airstrikes the main cause.

Civilian casualties caused by anti-government elements, including the Taliban and the Islamic State, totalled 1,968, a 43-per-cent decrease.

UNAMA welcomed the decrease of civilian casualties.

“Everyone heard the message loud and clear from Afghan delegates in the Doha talks – ‘reduce civilian casualties to zero!’” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. (NAN)