Afghanistan violence claims record toll

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The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) compiled the report with the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR). Photo: UNAMA/Fardin Waezi

Lethal violence in Afghanistan is getting worse and has claimed a record number of casualties in 2016, the UN said Monday.

More than 5,100 civilians have been killed or maimed in the first six months of the year, according to new data from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the UN Human Rights Office (OHCHR).

The majority of civilian casualties were caused by militants, but pro-government forces have also been implicated in a rising number of incidents.

Daniel Johnson has more.

The official number of those killed or maimed in ongoing violence in Afghanistan in the first six months of this year is 5,166.

That's a conservative estimate, according to the UN Human Rights Office, OHCHR, which says that it represents the highest number of civilian casualties since counting began in 2009.

High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein has also called it "alarming and shameful" that a record number of children have been killed or wounded.

Here's OHCHR spokesperson Ravina Shamdasani:

"These are shocking figures…We're talking about people like the driver who lost his limbs, which means that he is completely deprived of his livelihood, and his family is deprived of the money that he was bringing in. We're talking about the man who went to a bazaar to shop for his children, and when he came back home, he found them dead."

Armed clashes continue to inflict the highest toll on civilians, followed by attacks on complexes, suicide bombings and improvised explosive devices.

In one incident on 13 April, children are said to have thrown a live mortar onto a road after failing to exchange it for ice cream.

The total civilian casualty figure since 2009 in Afghanistan now stands at nearly 64,000.

Daniel Johnson, United Nations, Geneva

Duration: 1'14"



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