Record number of civilian deaths and attacks on educational facilities in Afghanistan

By agency reporter
July 17, 2018

Almost 1,700 civilians were killed by conflict in Afghanistan in the first half of 2018 – the highest number for this period in any of the past 10 years – according to new UN data released yesterday.

The quarterly civilian casualty figures from the UN Assistance Mission to Afghanistan (UNAMA) also revealed that for the third year in a row, more than 5,000 civilians were killed or injured between January and June. Among these, 363 children were killed and 992 were injured, a 15 per cent reduction from the same period last year.

At the same time, there has been a worrying increase in attacks on education facilities, including at least 12 attacks in Nangarhar province in the last month alone. 

“It is extremely concerning to see so many civilians being killed in Afghanistan, where there has been a marked deterioration in the security situation in recent years,” Save the Children Country Director in Afghanistan, Onno van Manen said. “Hundreds of children are being killed by conflict – almost two per day – when they should be enjoying safe, happy and healthy childhoods.

“It is also becoming more and more dangerous for ordinary Afghans to conduct their daily lives and for children to go to school. Already more than 3.5 million Afghan children are missing out on their right to education, and conflict only makes this worse.

“Attacks on civilians – especially children – can never be tolerated. Not only do they kill and injure innocent people, but they also cause untold distress and often lead to serious psychosocial issues and impact the longer-term development of children.

“Save the Children condemns these attacks, and we call upon all parties in Afghanistan to do everything in their power to protect children”, Mr van Manen said.

According to the UNAMA report, between January and June 2018, there were 1,692 deaths and 3,430 people injured.

The use of improvised explosive devices in attacks by anti-government groups remained the leading cause of civilian casualties, responsible for almost 50 per cent of these. Ground engagements were the second leading cause, followed by targeted and deliberate killings, aerial operations, and explosive remnants of war.

* Save the Children


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