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UN Counts More Than 8,000 Afghan Civilian Casualties So Far This Year

(Last Updated On: October 10, 2018)

At least 8,050 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of 2018, according to UN figures released Wednesday.

“As there can be no military solution to the fighting in Afghanistan, the United Nations renews its call for an immediate and peaceful settlement to the conflict to end the suffering of the Afghan people,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA. “All parties can and should do their utmost to protect civilians from harm, including by making concrete progress toward peace.”

The report indicates that the leading cause of civilians killed and injured from the armed conflict remained the combined use of suicide and non-suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by anti-government elements.

“UNAMA recalls that attacks deliberately targeting civilians and the murder of civilians are serious violations of international humanitarian law that amount to war crimes,” it said in the report.

The report furthermore documents how the use of suicide IEDs increased in frequency and in lethality, causing record high civilian casualty levels in the first three quarters of 2018.

“Every civilian death leaves a family devastated, grieving and struggling to come to terms with the loss, and each civilian injured or maimed causes untold suffering,” said Danielle Bell, UNAMA’s Human Rights Chief. “The worrying rise in civilian casualties in Nangarhar reflects an unacceptable trend that is indicative of how Afghan civilians continue to bear the brunt of this ongoing conflict.”

The report attributed 65 percent of casualties to the Taliban, Islamic State and other anti-government forces.

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