Afghan civilian casualties mount despite ongoing peace talks

Afghan civilian casualties mount despite ongoing peace talks

Despite progress in peace negotiations between the Taliban and the United States, Afghan civilians have found no respite in the ongoing war, with casualties continuing to mount.

Local news outlets reported over 1800 civilian casualties in January, reducing hope for a peaceful winter—a period usually considered as a respite from fighting season.

About 986 people civilians were reportedly killed and 839 others injured in the first month of this year, according to a report in Pahjwok, an Afghan news agency. “Last month, not a single day passed without attacks or casualties,” the report stated.

In comparison, in the first three months of last year, 763 deaths and 1,495 injured were reported.

At least 5774 Afghan civilians were killed during 2018, according to the Global Terrorism Index, which ranked Afghanistan as the deadliest country in the world, surpassing Iraq and Syria.

Bombings are the most common cause of civilian casualties.

“The combined use of suicide and non-suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs) remained the leading cause of civilian casualties in the first nine months of 2018, causing nearly half of all civilian casualties,” stated a report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), which has collected data on civilian casualties in the country since 2009. “UNAMA continues to document extreme levels of harm to civilians from the armed conflict, including recording the most civilian deaths during the same nine-month period since 2014,” they observed at the end of last year.

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