Civilian bomb injuries soar in south Afghanistan
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Last Updated: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 17:56
Kabul: Civilian injuries due to roadside bombs and other explosives in southern Afghanistan have soared amid worsening Taliban violence, the International Committee for the Red Cross said in a report on Thursday.

Hospitals in the provinces of Kandahar and Helmand admitted up to 40 per cent more patients with such injuries in the first two months of the year compared to the same period last year, the group said.

The Red Cross-supported Mirwais Hospital in the city of Kandahar treated 51 patients for injuries caused by homemade bombs in March alone, well above the average monthly figure, it said.

"Homemade bombs and improvised mines continue to pose a major threat to civilians in the south of Afghanistan. In the last few weeks, ICRC personnel at Mirwais Hospital in Kandahar have observed a substantial increase in casualties," the report said.

The insurgency employs roadside bombs to attack Afghan government forces and NATO troops and spread fear among the populace.

At least 2,412 Afghan civilians were killed in fighting last year, an increase of 14 percent from 2008, according to the United Nations.

About two-thirds of the civilian deaths were a result of actions initiated by the insurgents, including ambushes, assassinations and roadside bombs, while the percentage of civilian deaths attributed to NATO and Afghan government forces fell.


First Published: Thursday, April 15, 2010, 17:56

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