News / Asia

UN Says Civilian Death Rate in Afghanistan is Unacceptable

An Afghan girl washing clothes in a river looks at a US Army soldier in the town of Senjaray, southern Afghanistan May 29, 2012.An Afghan girl washing clothes in a river looks at a US Army soldier in the town of Senjaray, southern Afghanistan May 29, 2012.
x
An Afghan girl washing clothes in a river looks at a US Army soldier in the town of Senjaray, southern Afghanistan May 29, 2012.
An Afghan girl washing clothes in a river looks at a US Army soldier in the town of Senjaray, southern Afghanistan May 29, 2012.
TEXT SIZE - +
Larry Freund
NEW YORK - The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says civilian casualties from the Afghan conflict remain at "unacceptably high levels" despite a 21-percent drop in conflict-related deaths during the first four months of this year.

In a report released Thursday, UNAMA said 2011 marked the fifth year in a row in which civilian casualties increased in Afghanistan. The group said it documented more than 3,000 civilian deaths last year, three-quarters linked to violence by anti-government forces.

The continued violence has raised concerns about the ability of Afghan forces to handle security beyond 2014, when most NATO forces are planning to conclude their combat role.

Brookings Institution Foreign Policy Senior Fellow Michael O'Hanlon says he does not expect a significant decrease in the conflict-related deaths in the near future.

"I am just not persuaded that there is any realistic hope that the numbers are going to go down that much in the next two or three years," said O'Hanlon. "I think that unless the Taliban decides to be serious about peace talks, we are probably going to have to hope the numbers just don't get much worse as we carry out a transition to primary Afghan responsibility for security throughout the country."

UNAMA said improvised explosive devices (IED's), used by anti-government forces, were the single largest killer of civilians, accounting for one-third of the deaths.

On Wednesday, the group said it had documented 579 civilian deaths for the first four months of 2012, a one-fifth decrease compared to the same time last year. However, it said the region's harsh winter may have contributed to the decrease.

Meanwhile, Afghan officials say explosions killed at least seven police officers on Thursday.

A spokesman for the provincial governor in Kandahar  province says a car bombing at a police checkpoint in Argistan killed at least five officers.

There was no immediate claim of responsibility. Kandahar is the birthplace of the Taliban, which earlier this month announced the start of a spring offensive.

Afghan officials say a second explosion at a checkpoint in Jalalabad killed two police officers.

You May Like

Abuja Blast Impacts Lives, Livelihoods

Officials say they are looking at ways to help bombing victims and boosting security More

Cambodia Technology Adviser Criticizes Cybercrime Draft Law

Phu Leewood says current criminal code can be used to prosecute offenders and that there is no need for a separate law More

Photogallery A Year Later, Boston Remembers Deadly Marathon Bombings

City pauses to honor victims and salute emergency workers who came to their assistance in frantic moments after blasts More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid