A United Nations report revealed that a record number of Afghan civilians were killed last year due to stepped up aerial attacks by U.S-led forces and more suicide bombings. The conflict in Afghanistan claimed 3,804 civilian lives that included 927 children, both all-time highs, leading to an 11% spike in civilian deaths versus 2017, the report from the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said.
The report stated that 1,185 civilians were killed and 1,427 civilians were injured from operations conducted by pro-government forces. Their aerial operations caused 492 child casualties as many attacks were on anti-government elements hiding among the civilian population. The report said the Taliban was responsible for 1,751 civilian casualties in 2018, versus 916 in 2017, while the Islamic State killed or wounded 2,181 civilians last year.
The Afghan war – which started after U.S. forces led a campaign to overthrow the Taliban following the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on New York and Washington – has intensified despite peace talks gaining momentum.