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UN mission says 600 civilians killed in Afghanistan in Q1

(Xinhua) Updated: 2016-04-17 15:17

KABUL - Some 600 civilians were killed and hundreds others wounded in Afghanistan's conflicts and war in first quarter of the year, the UN mission in the country said on Sunday.

The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented 1,943 civilian casualties, including 600 deaths and 1,343 injuries, in the period between Jan 1 to March 31, 2016, the mission said in a statement.

The mission expressed concerns over increase in the casualties of the non-combatants as the figures showed an overall increase in civilian casualties of 2 percent compared to the same period last year.

"Consistent with 2015 trends, ground engagements caused the highest number of total civilian casualties, followed by improvised explosive devices (IEDs), complex and suicide attacks, as well as targeted killings,"

"In the first quarter of 2016, almost one third of civilian casualties were children," Danielle Bell, UNAMA's human rights director, was quoted in the statement as saying.

"If the fighting persists near schools, playgrounds, homes and clinics, and parties continue to use explosive weapons in those areas - particularly mortars and IED tactics, these appalling numbers of children killed and maimed will continue." she noted.

The statement has attributed 60 percent of the casualties to the Taliban and other insurgent groups, 19 percent were attributed to security forces while the rest 21 percent of civilian casualties were unattributed or caused by explosive remnants of war.

The mission also called on all parties to the conflict to take precautions to protect civilians in the militancy-hit Central Asian country, according to the statement.

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