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UN report says Afghan civilian death toll rises for fifth year in row

Kabul, Sun, 05 Feb 2012 ANI

Kabul, Feb 5 (ANI): A UN report has claimed that the number of civilians killed and injured in the Afghan conflict has risen for the fifth year in a row.


The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama) documented 3,021 civilian deaths in 2011 compared with 2,790 in 2010 and 2,412 in 2009.


According to the report, insurgents caused most deaths, and improvised explosive devices (IEDs) were being used more widely and suicide attacks had become deadlier, The BBC reports.


"Improvised explosive devices were the single largest killer of Afghan children, women and men in 2011, taking the lives of 967 civilians, or nearly one in three (32 percent) of all civilians killed in the conflict," the report said.


"Among the tactics of pro-government forces, aerial attacks caused the greatest number of Afghan civilian deaths in 2011 attributed to these forces," it added.


The report also pointed out that civilian deaths from air strikes in support of the Afghan government rose in 2011.


The 2011 Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict said a total of 11,864 civilian lives had been claimed by the conflict since 2007.


In 2011, 'anti-government elements' were blamed for 2,332 or 77 percent of civilians killed, up 14 percent from 2010, the report said.


UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Navi Pillay, said it was 'extremely worrying' that civilian casualties continued to rise year after year.


"Behind these numbers is real suffering and loss for families in Afghanistan. It is incumbent on parties to halt this trend and prevent such loss of life," Pillay said. (ANI)


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