By Shadi Khan Saif
The UN on Tuesday expressed concern over the rising number of civilian casualties in airstrikes carried out in Afghanistan.
In a statement, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said 353 civilian casualties including 149 deaths and 204 injured were documented in the first six months of 2018 from aerial strikes, a 52 percent increase from the same period in 2017.
The statement came a few days after back-to-back airstrikes by the government forces in parts of the country which allegedly caused civilian casualties.
The UNAMA attributed 52 percent of all civilian casualties from aerial attacks to the Afghan Air Force, 45 percent to international military forces, and the remaining three percent to unidentified pro-government forces.
It attributed around seven percent of all civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict in the first half of the year to air operations.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Forces in Afghanistan (USFOR-A) has rejected the claims of civilian casualties.
However, Javed Ghafoor, spokesman for the Ministry of Defense, told a presser in Kabul that 11 Taliban militants were killed and six abducted security forces were freed in this air raid.