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UN report shows rise in civilian deaths, most by insurgents

A much-awaited UN report released Tuesday said the number of civilians killed or injured in Afghanistan rose 31 percent in the first six months of 2010. About 76 percent of the casualties were by anti-government forces.


AP - The number of civilians killed or wounded in the Afghan conflict rose 31 percent in the first six months of the year, and anti-government forces caused about three-quarters of the casualties, the United Nations said in a report Tuesday.

"The human cost of this conflict is unfortunately rising,'' Staffan De Mistura, the top U.N. envoy in Afghanistan, said about the report released in Kabul.

"We are worried. We are concerned. We are very concerned about the future because the human cost is being paid too heavily by civilians. This report is a wake-up call.''

According to the U.N. report, 1,271 Afghans died and 1,997 were injured - mostly from roadside bombings - in the first six months of the year.

The U.N. in Afghanistan said anti-government forces were responsible for 76 percent of the casualties - up from 53 percent last year.

"If they want to be part of a future Afghanistan, they cannot do so over the bodies of so many civilians,'' de Mistura said, noting that anti-government forces were using more larger and more sophisticated explosive devices throughout the nation.

The report said that 386, or 12 percent, of the Afghan casualties were due to U.S., NATO and other pro-government forces. That percentage was down from 30 percent during the first six months of last year, primarily because of a decrease in aerial attacks, the report said.

According to the report:
- The number of civilians assassinated and executed by anti-government forces rose by more than 95 percent.

- 176 children were killed and 389 others were wounded - up 55 percent over the same six-month period last year.

- Homemade explosive devices accounted for 29 percent of all civilian deaths, including 74 children.

- Aerial attacks by international forces caused 69 of the 223 civilian deaths and injured 45 civilians.

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