Atleast 3,812 Afghan civilians were killed and wounded in the first half of 2019 during the war between militant groups and the Afghan forces, the United Nations said Tuesday, citing a significant increase in casualties from the government and NATO-led forces.
The latest statistics came as talks between the Taliban and US officials to end the 18-year-old Afghan war reached an important stage. US negotiators hope to conclude a peace deal before September 1.
But the war has escalated despite diplomatic efforts, forcing Afghan civilians to live under constant threat of being targeted or surrounded by militants because of fighting on the ground or being mistakenly victims of air strikes by Afghan and NATO forces.
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its latest report that most of the Afghan civilians casualties were caused by ground attacks and clashes and the next was the bombing and air raids.
The Taliban and Daesh fighters killed 531 Afghans and wounded 1,437 from January 1 to June 30, the report said. He said militant groups deliberately targeted 985 civilians, including government officials, tribal leaders, aid workers and religious scholars.
He also pointed out that pro-government forces killed 717 Afghans and injured 680 in the six months to June 30, up 30 percent from the same period in 2018.