News / Asia

    UN: Civilian Casualties on the Rise in Afghanistan

    FILE - An Afghan man carries an injured boy to a hospital after two roadside bombs struck the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2013.
    FILE - An Afghan man carries an injured boy to a hospital after two roadside bombs struck the Achin district of Jalalabad, east of Kabul, Afghanistan, Nov. 28, 2013.
    A new United Nations report says the number of civilians dying in fighting in Afghanistan continues to rise. 2013 civilian deaths matched the record highs of 2011.

    The U.N. said unrelenting armed conflict in Afghanistan killed almost 3,000 civilians and injured more than 5,500 during 2013.

    Women and children increasingly bear the brunt of the violence, most of which is blamed on anti-government insurgents.

    United Nations Assistance Mission special representative Jan Kubis said the targeted killings were a crime.

    "There are groups that are boasting about killing civilians, are making statements about how good it is that civilians are being targeted and killed. These groups should understand this might border on war crimes," said Kubis.

    The U.N. report released Saturday said homemade bombs planted by anti-government forces in places like parks, roads, and on bicycles, were the biggest killers of civilians.

    A number of anti-government forces, including the Taliban, are operating in Afghanistan.

    More civilians also are getting caught in the crossfire between militants and government forces, as Afghan security units try to gain control of the country.

    And the U.N. said civilians were still being killed by international forces. But U.N. Human Rights Director Georgette Gagnon said those numbers paled in comparison.

    "Of total civilian casualties, that's the total, we found that only three percent were attributed to international forces,  three percent of the total civilian casualties," said Gagnon.

    The NATO International Security Assistance Force issued a statement saying it would work with Afghan forces to reduce civilian casualties.  More than 14,000 Afghan civilians have died since 2009. Thousands more have been injured.

    Kubis said the number of civilian deaths was still rising so far in 2014.

    International combat forces are due to leave Afghanistan by the end of this year.

    Sharon Behn

    Sharon Behn is a foreign correspondent working out of Voice of America’s headquarters in Washington D.C  Her current beat focuses on political, security and humanitarian developments in Iraq, Syria and Turkey. Follow Sharon on Twitter and on Facebook.

    You May Like

    Chechen Suspected in Istanbul Attack, but Questions Remain

    Turkish sources say North Caucasus militants involved in bombing at Ataturk airport, but name of at least one alleged attacker raises doubts

    With Johnson Out, Can a New ‘Margaret Thatcher’ Save Britain?

    Contest to replace David Cameron as Britain’s prime minister started in earnest Thursday with top candidates outlining strategy to deal with Brexit fallout

    US Finds Progress Slow Against Human Trafficking in Africa

    Africa continues to be a major source and destination for human trafficking of all kinds -- from forced labor to sexual slavery, says State Department report

    This forum has been closed.
    Comment Sorting
    Comments
         
    by: jimmy from: china
    February 09, 2014 11:03 AM
    people suffer a lot in the war. why do they like to chase power? it seems that fighting is the only way for them to achieve their goal. however, civilians get too much pains during this.

    by: Haron from: Afghanistan, Kabul
    February 09, 2014 7:44 AM
    if we should have not mention Taliban as brothers we have not seen such days today. our government is in a wrong way. our president has guided the Afghan people and forces in stress and dangerous path.
    all the people counting the seconds, Minutes, Hours, Days, Weeks and Finally month to terminate this corrupted government. after one and half month [54 days] we will end to a president whom wear traditional cloths. using simple words in press conferences like a baby at two years class.
    these details have been connected to give more opportunities for Taliban to risen the Afghan civilian deaths.
    if we had a president to criticize on savage Taliban. calling on people of Afghanistan as a family and Longfellow on International communities we would never seen such risen toll death and problems. from one side pressure are upgrading on NATO, ISAF, and US troops in Europe and United States to bring back their sons and family guardian [those males and females whom involved in military] to their homes. and from one side we watch such people in Afghanistan like Karzai's stimuli to accept Taliban and Pakistani Militants as brothers due their tribalism opinion really me and others are not willing to feel a better future. please Obama use your final talent to perish these problems or otherwise world could prepare overdose [poison] to eat and finish at once.
    all the world accomplish their happiness but we [troops, workers, engineers, doctors, teachers, drivers and other tradespeople working] accomplish our sadness to the grave by death rising everyday.

    Featured Videos

    Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora