Civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit a new high in the first half of 2017 with 1 662 killed and more than 3 500 injured, the United Nations said Monday.
Deaths in the capital Kabul accounted for almost 20 percent of the toll, according to the report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has been documenting civilian casualties in the war-torn country since 2009.
"The human cost of this ugly war in Afghanistan - loss of life, destruction and enormous suffering - is too far too high", said the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, Tadamichi Yamamoto.
The first six months of the year has seen a significant rise in the number of civilian lives lost in highly coordinated attacks involving more than one perpetrator, with 259 killed and 892 injured - a 15% increase on the same period last year.
The reports highlights that 40 per cent of all civilian casualties during the six-month period were killed or injured by anti-government forces using improvised explosive devices (IEDs), such as suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices, which were responsible for the deaths of 596 civilians and injured 1,483.
The highest numbers of casualties occurred in provinces of Kabul, Helmand, Kandahar, Nangarhar, Uruzgan, Faryab, Herat, Laghman, Kunduz, and Farah.
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UNAMA also added that many of those casualties occurred in a single attack in Kabul city on 31 May, when a truck bomb killed at least 92 civilians and injured almost 500, the deadliest incident documented by UNAMA since 2001. The truck bomb attack was the single deadliest incident documented by UNAMA since 2001.
The report urges antigovernment forces to stop targeting civilians, and also calls on government troops to stop using weapons, including mortars and rockets in civilian populated areas.
The ground offensives by Afghan security forces are the second leading cause of civilian casualties, though UNAMA said there had been a 10% decrease compared to the same period in 2016.
UNAMA annual reports indicate that civilian casualties were on the rise from the withdrawal of many worldwide troops from Afghanistan after 2011 and the official end of NATO's combat mission in 2014.
According to the UN's figures, more than 26 500 civilians have died and almost 49 000 injured as a result of armed conflict in Afghanistan since January 2009.
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