The latest UN report on civilian deaths in Afghanistan showed a dramatic 54% increase in the number of women killed in the first quarter of 2017 over the same period in the previous year, alongside a 17% rise in the number of children killed. The deaths cover “conflict-related” fatalities.
Women and children are both are growing amount of the overall casualties of the Afghan War, and the UN expressed particular concern about the lack of effort to ensure protection for civilians among the various combatants, given that “fighting season” is fast approaching.
With little infrastructure,, Afghanistan’s war tends to quiet down somewhat during the winter, with a lot of areas of the country impassable. This tends to lead to a “spring offensive” which marks the official start of fighting season after the thaw, with casualties rising significantly nationwide.
The UN did sound a hopeful note, however, saying that the Afghan military had actually managed to make some efforts to reduce the number of civilians they were killing. They did caution, however, that a lot more needs to be done to reduce still enormous civilian toll of fighting.
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