Airstrikes and ground operations by government forces in Afghanistan killed more civilians than did anti-government elements in the first six months of the year, according to a UN report.
The report published on Tuesday by the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), said that while militants caused the majority of combined civilian deaths and injuries, pro-government forces killed more civilians.
Afghan security forces and foreign allies killed 717 civilians while militants killed 531. In total, 1,366 civilians were killed in the conflict, a 21-per-cent decrease in the same period last year.
However, the total number of people killed or injured by pro-government forces rose to 1,397, a 31 percent increase, with search operations and airstrikes the main cause.
Civilian casualties caused by anti-government elements, including the Taliban and the Islamic State, totaled 1,968, a 43-per-cent decrease.
UNAMA welcomed the decrease of civilian casualties.
“Everyone heard the message loud and clear from Afghan delegates in the Doha talks – ‘reduce civilian casualties to zero!’” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.