Civilian deaths rise in Afghanistan

Since the UN started documenting casualties in 2009 there have been 24,841 civilian lives lost with 45,347 injuries

Since the UN started documenting casualties in 2009 there have been 24,841 civilian lives lost with 45,347 injuries More

In total there were were 3,498 deaths and 7,920 people injured, totalling 11,418 all together - an increase of 3 per cent from 2015.

The United Nations says that the number of children killed in the conflict in Afghanistan in 2016 rose by almost 25 per cent from the previous year.

Since 2009, the United Nations found that a total of 24,841 civilians had lost their lives, while 45,347 had been left injured. "All parties to the conflict must take immediate concrete measures to protect the ordinary Afghan men, women and children whose lives are being shattered".

The report said antigovernment elements, mainly the Taliban, were responsible for 61% of the civilian casualties previous year, while government forces were to blame for 20% and pro-government armed groups and global military forces, 2% each.

The United Nations attributed at least 4,953 deaths and injuries to the Taliban, but in a shift in 2016, investigators documented a tenfold increase in casualties caused by Islamic State militants.

The Afghan army flushed out the insurgents with the support of American air strikes, and around 100 USA troops were deployed in the city, the first major American presence there since foreign forces withdrew in 2014.

Pro-government forces were responsible for around a quarter of the casualties (24%).

Casualties from airstrikes carried out by Afghan and global forces continued to rise.

Casualties among children spiked by 24 percent in 2016, with 923 dead and 2,589 wounded, largely as a result of a major increase in casualties from unexploded ordnance.

Airstrikes, including some carried out by USA warplanes, accounted for 250 deaths and 340 injuries - double the 2015 figure and the highest since 2009.

"We are very sensitive and careful about civilian casualties, this report is incomplete and we reject it", he said. "The nature of attacks perpetrated by Daesh/ISKP is indicative of attempts to expand the conflict along sectarian lines, further compounding concerns for the protection of civilians".

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