Following a trend that has been depressingly familiar in recent years, the United Nations has released a new report today on violence in Afghanistan, finding record levels of violence against civilians in the first half of 2016, with 1,601 killed and 3,565 wounded.
This is the highest number of casualties since the UN started keeping track in 2009, and puts 2016 on track to break the record level set in 2015, which itself broke a record set only in 2014. Needless to say, the situation is just getting worse.
Children are increasingly the targets of this rising violence, with the new report including 388 children killed and 1,121 wounded, a level the UN described as particularly shameful. This toll stops in June, and so doesn’t include the 80 civilians killed last week or the hundreds wounded in Kabul suicide bombings by ISIS.
The statistics showed children disproportionately the victims of IEDs, though the largest source of civilian casualties overall remains “ground engagements.” There is considerable dispute over what portion of the civilians killed in combat are the fault of the government and how many a5re the fault of the insurgency.