Number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan rises in first half of 2013Listen /
There was a sharp rise in the number of casualties among Afghan civilians in the first six months of 2013, according to a report released by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA.
The UNAMA report documented nearly 4,000 civilian deaths and injuries in that time period, a marked increase over the 2012 numbers.
It said the main factors driving the spike were the increased use of improvised explosive devices, IEDs, by anti-government elements, particularly in areas populated or frequented by civilians.
The report also noted increased civilian casualties due to targeted killings and attacks against civilian government workers, as well as fighting between Afghan armed forces and anti-government elements, and high level threats and intimidation.
"The violent impact of the conflict on Afghan civilians demands even greater commitment and further efforts by parties to the conflict to better protect civilians," said Ján Kubiš, the UN Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA.
Gerry Adams, United Nations.