As civilian deaths in the Afghan conflict touch record figures, international stakeholders, especially the U.S., have been forced to consider different options to find an end to the 17-year-long war.
A report released last week by the UN Assistant Mission in Afghanistanrecorded a substantial rise in deaths due to the ongoing conflict. This is despite the relative success of the first-ever brief ceasefire observed last month between the Afghan government and the Taliban.
The alarmingly high numbers illustrate the growing complexity of the war. More specifically, the expansion of Islamic State insurgency in the region has raised concerns among locals and international stakeholders alike.
A total of 5,122 civilian casualties — 1,692 deaths and 3,430 injuries — were recorded in the first half of this year, and at least 18% of them were attributed to the IS that is gaining ground in Afghanistan. For instance, 95% of all civilian casualties in Kabul were caused by suicide and complex attacks, and more than half of those were claimed by the IS.
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