The conflict in Afghanistan continues to exact a terrible toll on civilians, with the highest number of fatalities recorded for the first nine months of this year since 2014, according to a report published by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) on Wednesday.
The new UN report, covering the period from 1 January to 30 September 2018, documents 8,050 civilian casualties (2,798 dead and 5,252 injured), reflecting the same extreme levels of harm to civilians in comparison to the same period in 2017.
The report indicates that the leading cause of civilians killed and injured from the armed conflict remained the combined use of suicide and non-suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by anti-government elements. It furthermore documents how the use of suicide IEDs increased in frequency and in lethality, causing record high civilian casualty levels in the first three quarters of 2018.
UNAMA found that ground engagements were the second leading cause of civilian casualties, followed by targeted and deliberate killings, aerial operations and explosive remnants of war. Of grave concern, the report notes that anti-government elements increasingly directed attacks specifically against the civilian population, including ethnic and religious minorities.
Source: International Islamic News Agency