| 23 April 2024, Tuesday |

Civilian casualties in Afghanistan at record level in May-June – UN

The United Nations said on Monday that about 2,400 Afghan civilians were killed or injured in May and June as violence between Taliban terrorists and Afghan security forces escalated, the highest total for those two months since records began in 2009.

Between January and June, the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) recorded 5,183 civilian injuries, including 1,659 deaths, according to a report. The figure was up 47% from the same period the previous year.

The results highlighted the grave situation for Afghan civilians as combat intensified in May and June after US President Joe Biden declared that American soldiers would leave the country by September, ending a 20-year foreign military presence.

“Of grave concern is the sharp increase in the number of civilians killed and injured since 1 May, with nearly as many civilian casualties recorded in the May-June period as in the preceding four months,” UNAMA said in a statement.

Heavy clashes around the country have taken place in the past two months as the Taliban launches major offensives, taking rural districts, border crossings and surrounding provincial capitals, prompting Afghan and U.S. forces to carry out air strikes to try and push back the insurgents.

In recent weeks, negotiators have met in Doha, Qatar’s capital, but officials have warned that little real progress has been made since peace talks began in September.

Deborah Lyons, the United Nations Secretary-Special General’s Representative for Afghanistan, said, “I beg the Taliban and Afghan leaders to take heed of the conflict’s sad and terrifying trend and its catastrophic impact on civilians.” “This year, an unprecedented number of Afghan civilians will die or be injured if the rising violence is not stopped.”

  • Reuters