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Violence in Afghanistan Killed, Wounded 10000 People in 2017

15 February 2018

A total of 4,403 women and children were either killed or wounded during the year in what Tadamichi Tamamoto, the UN Secretary General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, called "appalling human suffering".

Just under 3,500 civilians were killed and 7,500 injured in extremist attacks and military strikes in Afghanistan in 2017, the United Nations reported Thursday.

Danielle Bell, director of human rights of the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, speaking Thursday described the nine percent reduction in civilian casualties past year as an "important step" towards minimizing harm to non-combatant Afghans.

Pro-government forces caused a fifth of the civilian casualties according to the report, with 16 percent attributed to the Afghan national security forces, two percent to global military forces, one percent each to pro-government armed groups and undetermined pro-government forces.

Yamamoto, who also heads UNAMA, expressed deep concern at the increased harm to civilians caused by suicide attacks: "I am particularly appalled by the continued indiscriminate and unlawful use of IEDs, such as suicide bombs and pressure-plate devices in civilian populated areas".

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Another 20 per cent of civilian victims were attributed to Afghan government loyalists.

Pro-government forces, including Afghan national security forces and global military forces caused a fifth of the civilian casualties.

"Afghan civilians have been killed going about their daily lives - traveling on a bus, praying in a mosque, simply walking past a building that was targeted", U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad al Hussein said in a statement.

But terror attacks continue this year.

"While we did see an improvement on the battlefield by Taliban and pro-government forces, more still needs to be done".

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In their statement, the Taliban did not mention a January 27 raid on a top Kabul hotel, in which more than 30 people were killed, nor a bomb attack on a crowded street a week later that killed more than 100. No group claimed responsibility but the Taliban were suspected.

The report attributes close to two-thirds of all casualties (65 per cent) to anti-government elements: 42 per cent to the Taliban, 10 per cent to Daesh / Islamic State Khorasan Province (ISIL-KP), and 13 per cent to undetermined and other anti-government elements.

Airstrikes by Afghan and U.S. forces, which increased by seven per cent, killed 295 people and wounded 336 others, making up six per cent of the overall casualty figures.

In 2017, 359 women died in the Afghan conflict and 865 were wounded, a one per cent rise over the previous year, although the number of children affected fell from 2016 by 10 per cent with 861 dead and 2,318 wounded.

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Violence in Afghanistan Killed, Wounded 10000 People in 2017