Though most officials were trying to focus their narrative on the overall civilian death toll being slightly down in the first quarter of 2016 in Afghanistan, UN officials are warning that the increasingly urban fighting is putting growing numbers of women and children in the line of fire.
And indeed, while the overall deaths were down a bit, deaths among Afghan children were up an alarming 29% in the first quarter, with 161 children killed. 52 women were also killed, a small increase over 2015 itself.
Casualties in Afghanistan seem to hit a new record high every year lately, and indeed, the new report showed an overall casualty increase, with an 11% increase in the number of wounded in the first quarter. A huge number of wounded civilians in this weekend’s fighting over Kunduz has the second quarter shaping up to be another disaster.
The new report also showed Afghan forces responsible for a growing percentage of the deaths, with Afghan troops having killed 70% more civilians this year than in the same period of 2015. Officials say the deaths were mostly caused by mortars and rocket fire.