Afghan civilian casualties fall 1st time in 5 yrs
NATO figures show that Taliban attacks between April and June this year were 11 percent higher than the same quarter in 2011.
Kabul: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan have dropped for the first time in five years, the latest UN figures have revealed.
Those killed or injured has fallen by 15 percent in the first half of 2012 compared with the same period last year, the UN said.
According to the BBC, analysts said that increased sensitivity on both sides about the impact of civilian deaths in Afghanistan has led to more carefully targeted attacks.
"In the first six months of 2012, the armed conflict in Afghanistan continued to take a devastating toll on civilians," the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) report said.
"Between 1 January and 30 June 2012, conflict-related violence resulted in 3,099 civilian casualties or 1,145 civilians killed and 1,954 others injured, a 15% decrease in overall civilian casualties compared with the same period in 2011," the report said.
The report emphasises, however, that while the reduction of civilian casualties ‘reverses the trend in which civilian casualties had increased steadily over the previous five years’, UNAMA remains concerned that the number of civilian deaths and injuries "remains at a high level".
The decrease in civilian deaths contrasts with NATO figures that show Taliban attacks between April and June this year were 11 percent higher than the same quarter in 2011. The figures show that there was a ‘notable increase’ in enemy initiated attacks (EIAs) in May and June.
The UNAMA report also highlighted a 53-percent rise in targeted killings in the first six months of 2012, mostly of politicians, by ‘anti-government elements’.