Over 3000 Civilians Killed, 7000 Injured in Afghanistan in 2017 - UN Mission

Record number of Afghan civilian casualties due to attacks in 2017: UN

Over 3400 civilians killed in 2017 in Afghanistan

But the total number of civilian casualties in Afghanistan last year decreased by nearly a tenth, or nine percent, compared to the year before.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) reported that civilian deaths across the country fell nine percent overall in 2017, with 10,453 casualties including 3,438 deaths and 7,015 wounded.

"The chilling statistics provide credible data about the war's impact, but the figures alone can not capture the appalling human suffering inflicted on ordinary people, especially women and children", UNAMA chief Tadamichi Yamamoto said.

M - The Taliban said on Wednesday, in a rare statement to the American people, they wanted to end Afghanistan's 17-year war through talks, while warning the message should not be seen as a sign of weakness and the fight against USA forces would go on, Reuters reported.

Yamamoto expressed deep concerns at the high number of casualties caused by suicide bombings and other attacks using improvised explosive devices (IEDs).

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Pro-government forces caused a fifth of the civilian casualties according to the report, with 16 percent attributed to the Afghan national security forces, two per cent to global military forces, one per cent each to pro-government armed groups and undetermined pro-government forces.

The UN also points out that airstrikes by worldwide and Afghan forces caused more casualties than the previous year.

"In 2017, UNAMA documented 631 civilian casualties (295 deaths and 336 wounded) from airstrikes, a seven percent increase from a year ago, and the highest number recorded by UNAMA (since 2009)", Bell warned.

Eleven percent of the civilian casualties in 2017 were caused by unaccounted fire between Afghan troops and anti-government fighters. The remaining third were killed either during military action between the Afghan army and militants or in air strikes by the US and global allies.

The report attributes close to two thirds of all casualties to militant groups fighting the government, mainly the Taliban, but also IS and other, undetermined anti-government elements.

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Women and children were heavily affected by the violence with 359 women killed last year, an increase of 5 percent over the previous year - and 865 injured. This amounted to three times as many attacks as in 2016, double the number of deaths and 30 per cent more total civilian casualties.

Women and children continued to bear the brunt of the armed conflict. But the figures highlighted the high number of casualties caused by militant bombs, the United Nations said.

While ground clashes were the second leading cause of civilian casualties, that toll was 19 percent lower than a record level seen in 2016.

In line with the overall reduction in civilian casualties in 2017, child casualties decreased by 10 per cent, compared to 2016. "Each of these figures represents a hope crushed for a better future".

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