The United Nations (UN) reported on Sunday that civilian casualties of the war in Afghanistan in 2015 left more than 3,500 civilians dead and nearly 7,500 others wounded which included an unprecedented number of children.
Since the withdrawal of most of the international troops, violence has widely spread across the country and has devastated many towns and cities all along its path. The UN began tracking the data seven years ago in 2009, and has documented nearly 59,000 deaths and injuries during all that time. The year of 2015 was reported as the worst for Afghan civilian casualties.
With suicide attacks and increased ground fighting in and around populated areas being the main causes of the deaths and injuries, the latest number of civilian casualties was the highest number ever recorded of the Afghan hostilities and violence.
“This report records yet another rise in the number of civilians hurt or killed. The harm done to civilians is totally unacceptable,” said Nicholas Haysom, the UN’s secretary general and UN’s representative for Afghanistan.
According to Haysom, the statistics do not reflect the real horror of what is happening in Afghanistan, and referred to the statistic’s figures as “awful”:
“The real cost we are talking about in these figures is measured in the maimed bodies of children, the communities who have to live with loss, the grief of colleagues and relatives, the families who have to make do without a breadwinner, the parents who grieve for lost children, the children who grieve for lost parents.”
According to the report, ground battles were the principal cause of most of the fatalities among civilians at 37 percent, followed by targeted and deliberate killings.
Women and children were highly affected: casualties among women increased 37 percent and deaths and injuries increased 14 percent among children. And casualties among pro-government security forces increased 28 percent compared to 2014.
Taliban groups were blamed at 62 percent for the majority of civilian deaths and injuries. Investigators accused them of using tactics that “deliberately or indiscriminately” caused harm to civilians.
Source: The New York Times