Civilian casualties in Afghanistan hit record high amid US withdrawal, UN says


Some 5,183 casualties had been recorded within the first six months of the yr — a 47% enhance from 2020 — the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) present in a report.

The variety of deaths and accidents recorded throughout May and June alone was 2,392, virtually as excessive as the whole for the previous 4 months, when 2,791 casualties had been recorded.

UNAMA mentioned 2021 can be the deadliest yr for Afghan civilians since its information started until pressing motion was taken to sort out violence within the nation.

The report added that it was “sickening” that just about half of all casualties had been girls and youngsters, who’ve been killed and injured in file numbers this yr. Some 32% of casualties had been kids, whereas 14% had been girls — with a mixed whole of 687 lifeless and 1,722 injured.

The UNAMA report famous that for the primary time, no casualties had been attributed to worldwide army motion however somewhat that combating had “taken on a distinctly Afghan fighting Afghan character.”

“I implore the Taliban and Afghan leaders to take heed of the conflict’s grim and chilling trajectory and its devastating impact on civilians,” Deborah Lyons, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan, mentioned in a press launch. She added that “unprecedented numbers of Afghan civilians will perish and be maimed this year if the increasing violence is not stemmed.”

A spokesman for the Afghan Security and Defense Forces rejected the report’s findings relating to civilians casualties in a press convention on Monday, based on state owned TV channel RTA. Taliban spokesman Zabihullah Mujahid additionally rejected the UNAMA report in a press release on Monday.

The US military withdrawal started on the finish of April, with President Joe Biden saying it was “time to end the forever war.”

Violence has surged throughout the nation in current months after the Taliban launched a sweeping assault simply days after US forces started pulling out after almost 20 years in Afghanistan.

Afghan security personnel stand guard along a road during an ongoing fight between Afghan forces and Taliban fighters in Kandahar on July 9.
According to the Long War Journal, which tracks territorial management in Afghanistan, by mid-July the Taliban had greater than tripled the variety of districts it controls (from 73 to 221) since mid-April.

The US has responded by ramping up American airstrikes in assist of Afghan forces in current days, and a high US basic mentioned that will proceed.

The US army carried out two strikes in opposition to Taliban targets on Thursday in assist of Afghan forces in Kandahar province, a number of IS protection officers mentioned. Three of the final 4 strikes by the US focused captured tools, one protection official mentioned, together with tools transferred to Afghan forces that the Taliban then captured because it superior all through the nation.

“The United States has increased air strikes in the support of Afghan forces over the last several days, and we are prepared to continue this heightened level of support in the coming weeks if the Taliban continue their attacks,” Gen. Kenneth McKenzie, head of US Central Command, informed reporters in Kabul on Sunday.

CNN’s Samantha Beech contributed to this report.

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