UN Fears ‘Unprecedented Numbers of Civilians Will Perish’ in Escalating Afghan Civil War

The decades-long conflict in Afghanistan intensified dramatically in the spring of 2021 as the United States and NATO announced that they would be departing the country after over 19 years of occupation. All of the country’s neighbours have beefed up security on their borders to prevent growing instability from spilling into their countries.

The United Nations has expressed fears that the ramping up of the civil war in Afghanistan in the aftermath of the US and NATO departure may result in a horrifying increase in the number of civilian casualties.

According to the agency, civilian casualties in the first half of 2021 have already reached “record levels,” with “a particularly sharp increase in killings and injuries” reported since May, when the US-led coalition began its withdrawal.

The UN warned that “without a significant de-escalation in violence Afghanistan is on course for 2021 to witness the highest ever number of documented civilian casualties in a single years since [its] records began.”

In its report, which covered casualties between January and June 2021, the UN indicated that some 1,659 Afghan civilians had been killed and 3,254 injured during this period, with the figures constituting a 47 percent rise compared to the same period in 2020. Between May and June alone, 783 civilians were killed, and 1,609 injured, according to the report.

The UN blamed ‘anti-government elements’ for 64 percent of all civilian casualties, with pro-government…

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