The first four months of 2017 witnessed the highest recorded number of child civilian casualties due to the conflict-related incidents in Afghanistan, the United Nations, the world body said, with 283 deaths and 704 injured.
“Between 1 January and 30 April 2017, UNAMA preliminarily recorded 987 child casualties (283 deaths and 704 injured), a 21 percent increase in child deaths compared to the same period in 2016,” said the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA).
During 2017, child deaths have risen largely as a result of the persistent use of indirect and/or explosive weapons in civilian-populated areas and “due to the use of illegal and indiscriminate improvised explosive devices,”
“Ground fighting caused 118 child deaths between 1 January and 30 April, responsible for 42 percent of the total,” the UN said.
According to UN the explosive remnants of war caused 50 child deaths and aerial operations have been responsible for 44 child deaths as well as improvised explosive devices (IEDs) responsible for 38 child deaths.
UNAMA has urged the parties to the conflict to priorities the protection of children as the 2017 fighting season continues by taking all necessary precautions to reduce harm to civilians during fighting.
“The Taliban and insurgents’ attacks in public areas cause casualties to civilians; therefore, we have instructed our security forces to prevent civilian casualties,” said Acting Spokesman of the Interior Ministry, Najib Danish.
The Human Rights Commission in Afghanistan has also urged the parties to avoid civilian casualties.
“The civilian deaths concerned us and the international community, we urge the parties to the conflict to do not target civilian-populated rural areas,” said the Spokesman of AIHRC, Bilal Sediqi.