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UN says nearly 1,300 civilians have been killed in Afghanistan since 2020 began

US Rep. Ilhan Omar (D-MN) (L) talks with Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) during a rally with fellow Democrats before voting on H.R. 1, or the People Act, on the East Steps of the US Capitol on March 08, 2019 in Washington, DC. (AFP photo)
Afghan security personnel stand gourd outside a mosque following a bomb attack in Kabul, June 2, 2020. (Photo by AFP)

Nearly 1,300 civilians, including a large group of children, have been killed in Afghanistan in the first six months of the year 2020, the United Nations says.

In a new report published on Monday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it had documented at least 1,282 civilian deaths from January to June, with another 2,176 people wounded in the same period.

The figures include 340 children killed and another 727 injured.

The report identified anti-government armed groups such as the Taliban and the Daesh Takfiri terrorist group as the main culprits, involved in 58 percent of the deaths.

Pro-government forces were responsible for the death or injury of 23 percent of civilians.

The UNAMA figures represent a 13-percent decline on the numbers of deaths and injuries reported during the same time period in 2019.

“The reality remains that Afghanistan continues to be one of the deadliest conflicts in the world for civilians,” UNAMA said in its mid-year report.

The United Nations has warned of an alarming uptick in violence against civilians and a “striking deterioration” in upholding international humanitarian law in Afghanistan.

Violence has surged despite a deal between the Taliban and the United States. Official data shows that Taliban bombings and other assaults have increased 70 percent since the militant group signed the deal in February.

The Afghan government was a party neither to the negotiations nor to the deal, but it has been acting in accordance with its terms, including by agreeing to free Taliban prisoners.

However, the militants have not stopped attacking government targets and civilians. 

The deal envisages a complete withdrawal of US forces from Afghanistan.

The United States led a military coalition of its allies in 2001 to invade Afghanistan to topple a Taliban regime. Washington believed it was harboring the al-Qaeda terrorist group.

The militants now control or hold influence over more Afghan territory than at any point since that time and have carried out near-daily attacks against US-led foreign forces and Afghan military outposts throughout the country.

Over 100,000 people have been killed or injured since 2009, when the UN mission in Afghanistan began documenting casualties.

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