THE number of civilians killed or wounded in Afghanistan rose by 31 per cent in the first six months of the year.
More than 1,200 civilians were killed and another 1,997 injured, the United Nations has said. These are the worst figures since the Taliban was driven out following the 9/11 attacks in 2001.
The vast majority of deaths and injuries, some 76 per cent, were caused by the Taliban and other insurgent groups, an increase from 53 per cent in 2009, the UN report disclosed.
Children in particular have suffered, with 176 killed and 389 injured, an increase of 55 per cent over the same six-month period last year.
A senior UN envoy official in Afghanistan, Staffan De Mistura, said:
” …The human cost of this conflict is unfortunately rising.
…We are worried. We are very concerned about the future because the human cost is being paid too heavily by civilians. This is a wake-up call.”
Last month, the whistle-blowing website WikiLeaks leaked documents which suggested that many civilian casualties were going unreported. This has raised fears that bad though the UN released figures are the true picture for ordinary people in Afghanistan may be still worse.