UN: Afghan civilian casualties up by 16% in 2013

KABUL: (MEP) – Recently The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) announced in a statement that civilian casualties in Afghanistan have increased by 16 percent during the first eight months of the year.

Georgette Gagnon, UNAMA Human Rights Director said stark increases in violence against civilians have been noted in some regions of the country.

Gagnon pointed towards the latest UN release which shows 54 percent increase in violence in volatile eastern provinces of Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar and Nuristan provinces.

She said, anti-government militant groups have caused the vast majority of civilian deaths and injuries, and are deliberately targeting civilians.

UNAMA Human Rights Director also added that the activities of anti-government armed groups are not limited to targeting the civilians, but militants have also been accused of intimidation, threat and abduction of civilians.

According to the UN report, majority of the civilians are caught in crossfire in eastern provinces of Afghanistan, as Afghan security forces have taken lead in fighting the militant groups.

In the meantime, Georgette Gagnon, UNAMA Human Rights Director urged all parties involved in the Afghan war to do more to protect civilians caught in the war.

She also urged to prevent all kinds of violence against women.

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