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UN sees significant decline in Afghan civilian casualties

Kabul , Thu, 31 May 2012 ANI

Kabul, May 31 (ANI): The number of civilian casualties has significantly dropped in Afghanistan, according to United Nations officials in Afghanistan.

Analysts claim that the drop in insurgent attacks maybe the reason for the decline and signalled a sign of better US-Afghan coordination.

The first four months of this year civilian casualties dropped by 21 percent compared with the same period last year.

However, UN officials have cautioned that they are uncertain if the downward trend will continue through the rest of the year, although the report is consistent with others indicating an overall drop in violence throughout Afghanistan for the first part of this year.

According to the UN, insurgents responsible for over 79 percent of civilian causalities, this decrease in their activity has likely played a major role in reducing civilian deaths. Security officials say that insurgents now appear more focused on assassinations and high profile attacks, which has resulted in fewer incidents that place civilians at risk.

"The decrease in the civilian casualties is because of the decrease in violence. The enemy doesn't have the power to carry out continuous attacks. They are mostly depending on roadside bombs," Christian Science Monitor quoted Abdul Rahman Sarjang, the police chief of Laghman Province, as saying.

The Afghanistan NGO Safety Office recorded a 43 percent decrease in insurgent attacks for first quarter of this year and the Afghan Ministry of Interior has also reported a drop in attacks.

Reports revealed that usually in the summer, fighting in Afghanistan traditionally increases as insurgents take advantage of warm weather and farming season that make it easier for them to operate. While death tolls are likely to rise, the report however indicated that this summer is unlikely to be as violent as those in recent years.

International forces have also seen a drop in violence for the first four months of this year, with a 15 percent decrease in fatalities compared with the same time last year. (ANI)

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