U.N. tal­lies Afghan war’s civil­ian deaths

Northwest Arkansas Democrat-Gazette - - INTERNATIONAL -

KABUL, Afghanistan — Afghanistan’s pro­tracted war killed a record num­ber of civil­ians dur­ing the first six months of this year, ac­cord­ing to a United Na­tions re­port re­leased Mon­day, which blamed the ma­jor­ity of the deaths on bomb­ings by in­sur­gents.

U.N. High Com­mis­sioner for Hu­man Rights Zeid Ra’ad Al Hus­sein said the “hor­ri­fy­ing” fig­ure of 1,662 peo­ple killed be­tween Jan­uary and June of this year “can never fully con­vey the sheer hu­man suf­fer­ing of the peo­ple of Afghanistan.”

“Each one of these ca­su­alty fig­ures re­flects a bro­ken fam­ily, unimag­in­able trauma and suf­fer­ing and the bru­tal vi­o­la­tion of peo­ple’s hu­man rights,” he added.

The re­port con­firmed that a truck bomb in the cen­ter of Kabul on May 31, which killed at least 90 peo­ple, was the dead­li­est at­tack since the U.S.-led in­va­sion that top­pled the Tal­iban in 2001. It also noted that more women and chil­dren were among the dead this year.

In­sur­gent at­tacks killed 1,141 civil­ians, a 12 per­cent in­crease over the same pe­riod last year, ac­cord­ing to the re­port, which said such at­tacks wounded an­other 2,348 peo­ple.

The re­port com­mended Afghanistan’s se­cu­rity forces, say­ing fewer civil­ians were caught in the cross­fire com­pared with last year. It said 434 civil­ians were killed dur­ing mil­i­tary oper­a­tions against in­sur­gents.

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