Despite NATO officials continuing to purport the Afghan War to be, if not over, nearly so, the civilian death toll of the conflict continues to slowly rise, with the UN showing another 1% increase in civilian casualties over last year’s figure.
The UN’s figures say 1,592 civilians were killed in the first half of 2015, and another 3,329 were wounded. The casualties were overwhelmingly from being caught in the middle of ground fighting and suicide attacks.
The biggest concern is that as the fighting gets more and more city-centric, the civilian casualties are increasingly women and children, with 23% more women and 13% more children hit in the fighting this year than last year, despite the overall toll only being 1% higher.
Though responsibility is always a hugely controversial matter, the UN report said “around 70 percent” of the deaths and injuries were the Taliban’s fault, with the rest the fault of either the Afghan government or NATO occupation forces.
The increased casualties in residential areas are primarily the result of increased used of mortars in those areas, and in spite of the overall attempts to pin it on the Taliban, Afghan military forces are actually to blame for 59% of mortar casualties among civilians.