By Shadi Khan Saif
War-ravaged Afghanistan witnessed a record numbers of civilian casualties in the first six months of 2018, according to a UN report released Sunday.
Again urging parties to the conflict to protect the civilian population and reach a peaceful settlement, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) confirmed 5,122 civilian casualties (1,692 deaths and 3,430 injured), which is the most recorded in the first half of the year since it began documenting civilian casualties in 2009.
This came despite an unprecedented three-day holiday cease-fire by the Afghan government and Taliban in June.
“The brief cease-fire demonstrated that the fighting can be stopped and that Afghan civilians no longer need to bear the brunt of the war,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan.
The use of suicide and non-suicide IEDs caused nearly half of all civilian casualties, the report stated, while blaming 52 percent of casualties on Daesh. The Taliban were responsible for 40 percent.