UNAMA registers 16 per cent rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan

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The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) registered   a 16 per cent rise in the number of Afghan civilians killed or wounded during the first eight months of this year compared to the same period last year, a senior UNAMA official told a news conference in the eastern Afghanistan city of Jalalabad.

Georgette Gagnon, UNAMA's Human Rights Director, said the situation in the country's eastern region was even "starker," with UNAMA having recorded a 54 per cent rise in civilian casualties across the four eastern provinces of Kunar, Laghman, Nangarhar and Nuristan.

"Across the country, the first eight months of this year, that’s January to the end of August,   19 per cent of all civilian casualties across the country took place here in the eastern region.” (15″)

The UNAMA official said "Anti-government groups – which continue to deliberately target civilians – have caused the vast majority of civilian deaths and injuries."

During the news conference,  Ms. Gagnon said UNAMA had documented a new trend of increasing civilian casualties during ground engagements between Afghan National Security Forces (ANSF) and anti-government groups, "which often take place in populated areas," including villages.

Donn Bobb, United Nations.

Duration:  1’11″

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