The report documented 3,804 civilian deaths, including 927 children, in 2018.
In total, UNAMA documented 10,993 civilian casualties (3,804 deaths and 7,189) wounded), representing a five percent increase in overall civilian casualties and an 11 percent increase in civilian deaths compared with 2017.
In this report, UNAMA attributes the majority of civilian casualties – 63 percent – to anti-government elements (37 percent to Taliban, 20 percent to Daesh, and 6 percent to undetermined anti-government elements).
According to the report, pro-government forces caused 24 percent civilian deaths (14 percent by Afghan national security forces, six percent by international military forces, and four percent by other pro-government armed groups and forces).
The report says that key factors contributing to the significant increase in civilian casualties were a spike in suicide attacks by anti-government elements, mainly Daesh, as well as increased harm to civilians from aerial and search operations by pro-government forces.
The report says that 2018 witnessed the highest number of civilian casualties ever recorded from suicide attacks and aerial operations.
“The report’s rigorously researched findings show that the level of harm and suffering inflicted on civilians in Afghanistan is deeply disturbing and wholly unacceptable,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan. “All parties need to take immediate and additional concrete steps to stop a further escalation in the number of civilians harmed and lives destroyed.”
He said that this is the UN’s 10th report documenting the plight of civilians in the Afghan conflict.
According to him, more than 32,000 civilians were killed and around 60,000 injured in a decade.
The said that the best way to halt the killings and maiming of civilians is to stop the fighting.
“I urge all parties to seize every opportunity to do so,” the UN envoy said.
The report shows that anti-government elements were responsible for 6,980 civilian casualties (2,243 deaths and 4,737 injured), a three percent increase to 2017, which mainly resulted from indiscriminate use of suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs) and the deliberate targeting of civilians with these devices.
The report says Taliban caused 4,072 civilian casualties (1,348 deaths and 2,724 injured), seven percent down on 2017, while Daesh caused 2,181 civilian casualties (681 deaths and 1,500 injured), an increase of 118 percent.
UNAMA attributed a further 678 civilian casualties (196 deaths and 482 injured) to undetermined anti-government elements.