IEDs responsible for dramatic rise in Afghan civilian deaths

Georgette Gagnon

More civilians in Afghanistan are being killed by the Taliban and other insurgent groups using improvised explosive devices or IEDs.

A new report from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, shows civilian casualties up 15% from the same time last year. It finds the Taliban and other insurgent groups responsible for about 80% of those deaths.

Georgette Gagnon is UNAMA’s director of human rights.

 "Two thirds of all IEDs used in Afghanistan, and the vast majority that kill civilians, are designed to be triggered by a weight – that is the weight of a human, and in some cases that of a child. Meaning that these IEDs – these victim-activated pressure plate IEDs – function effectively as massive anti-personnel mines. Clearly any civilian who steps on or drives over these IEDs has no defence against them and little chance of survival."

Filed under Today's News.
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