At least 3,812 Afghan civilians were killed or injured in the first half of 2019 in the war towards Islamist militant teams, including a significant increase in the number of casualties brought on by the government and NATO-led troops, a U.N. report mentioned on Tuesday.
The latest casualty figures had been released as talks between the Taliban and U.S. officials to end the 18-year Afghan conflict entered a critical stage, with U.S. negotiators aiming to reach a peace deal before Sept. 1.
Nonetheless, the conflict has raged on despite such diplomatic efforts, forcing civilians to live under the fixed menace of being targeted by militants or being caught up in ground fighting, or becoming inadvertent victims of airstrikes by the Afghan government and NATO-led forces.
The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) stated in its latest report ground raids and clashes brought on the most civilian casualties, adopted by the use of homemade bombs and airstrikes.
Taliban and Islamic State fighters killed 531 Afghans and wounded 1,437 between Jan. 1 and June 30. The hardline Islamist teams deliberately targeted 985 civilians, together with government officials, tribal elders, help employees, and religious scholars, the UNAMA report mentioned.
It stated pro-government forces killed 717 Afghans and wounded 680 within the six months to June 30, a 31% increase from the corresponding interval in 2018.
At least 144 girls and 327 children have been killed and more than 1,000 wounded throughout the nation.
Airstrikes triggered 519 civilian casualties, 150 of whom were children.
The United States and other NATO troops are stationed in Afghanistan as a part of a mission to train, help and advice Afghan forces and to hold out counter-terrorism operations.
Washington is trying to barter a deal below which foreign forces would pull out in return for safety guarantees by the Taliban, together with a pledge that the nation will not become a secure haven for terror groups.