Kabul, Feb 22 (IANS) The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) has documented more than 10,000 civilian casualties in 2019, it said in a report released here on Saturday.
“Parties to the conflict in Afghanistan killed and injured more than 10,000 civilians in 2019 and of these the report documents 3,403 civilians killed and 6,989 injured, with the majority of the civilian casualties inflicted by anti-government elements,” Xinhua news agency quoted the report as saying.
It is the sixth year in a row that the number of civilian casualties has exceeded 10,000, it further said.
“Almost no civilian in Afghanistan has escaped being personally affected in some way by the ongoing violence,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan and head of the UNAMA.
“It is absolutely imperative for all parties to seize the moment to stop the fighting, as peace is long overdue; civilian lives must be protected and efforts for peace are underway.”
The report called upon the warring sides to prevent civilian casualties.
The release of the report came hours after a seven-day “reduction in violence” pact between the Taliban, the US and Afghan security forces came into effect at 12.01 a.m. on Saturday, paving the way for the peace deal which is to be signed on February 29.