Afghan civilian casualties haunt U.N.

Aug. 8, 2012 at 10:40 AM

KABUL, Afghanistan, Aug. 8 (UPI) -- The more than 3,000 civilian casualties in Afghanistan during the first six months of the year are too many despite an overall decrease, a U.N. official said.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan reports 1,145 civilians were killed and another 1,954 were injured during the first six months of 2012. That represents a 15 percent decrease compared with the same period last year.

Nicholas Haysom, deputy U.N. special envoy to Afghanistan, said the thousands of civilians documented in the latest report had no role in the conflict.

"The United Nations welcomes the reduction in civilian casualties but we must remember that Afghan children, women and men continue to be killed and injured at alarmingly high levels," he said in a statement.

UNAMA said 10 percent of the civilian casualties in Afghanistan were by pro-government forces. Anti-government forces, including the Taliban, were responsible for 80 percent of the casualties.

The mission said 10 percent of the casualties during the reporting period couldn't be attributed to any particular part to the conflict.

The UNAMA report notes, however, that violence tied to anti-government forces was down 15 percent compared with the first six months of 2011.

The Taliban, in a statement, took responsibility for killing three Afghan police officers in Kandahar province Wednesday.

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