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    Afghanistan Civilian Casualties

    UN Says Civilian Deaths and Injuries in Afghanistan Hit Record High in 2014

    © AP Photo/ Rahmatullah Nikzad
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    2014 was the year of the highest number of civilian deaths and injuries in Afghanistan since the start of armed conflict, according to a UN annual report.

    UNITED NATIONS (Sputnik) – The number of deaths and injuries among civilians due to the armed conflict in Afghanistan rose by 22 percent in 2014, surpassing 10,000 for the first time since the UN began keeping record, a UN annual report issued Wednesday said.

    There have been 10,548 civilian casualties, including almost 3,700 deaths, in Afghanistan last year, the highest number of civilian deaths and injuries recorded in a single year since 2009, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.

    "The 22 per cent rise in civilian casualties in 2014 resulted mainly from increased ground engagements across Afghanistan in which parties to the conflict also increasingly used high explosive weapons systems, such as mortars, rockets and grenades in civilian-populated areas — with devastating consequences for civilians," the UNAMA report said.

    In total, since 2009, the ongoing conflict in Afghanistan has caused 47,745 civilian casualties with over 17,000 Afghan civilians killed, the report showed.

    The news come after the United States and NATO troops officially concluded their combat mission in Afghanistan at the end of 2014 and handed security responsibility over to Afghan forces. Following the withdrawal of international troops from the country, the Taliban stepped up its insurgent activities in Afghanistan.

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    casualties, UNAMA, United Nations, Afghanistan
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