Report finds that US and Afghan forces killed more civilians than Taliban

The report finds that pro-government forces were responsible for 53% causalities.

Mourning civilians killed in a raid last year by a C.I.A.-sponsored strike force in Khogyani, Afghanistan.CreditCreditJim Huylebroek for The New York Times


Since the United Nations started documenting the civilian casualties in Afghanistan about ten years ago, the report revealed that more civilians are being killed at the hands of American and Afghanistan forces than Taliban and other insurgents.

Civilian deaths attributed to pro-government forces rose in the first quarter of this year even as overall civilian casualties dropped to their lowest level in that period since 2013.

The graph for civilian casualties caused by pro-government forces primarily rose in the first quarter of this year, as the research states. The figures stood at 53%, however, insurgents are still responsible for more death overall (54%).

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Civilian killings by pro-government forces rose in the first quarter of the current year but were the lowest compared to the previous years (comparing 2013 onwards). Suicide bombings have decreased as compared to the same period in 2018.

During the first quarterly phase of this year, the military operations escalated following the peace talks among the United States and Taliban in Doha, Qatar. The insurgent attacks have decreased in this span, particularly in Kabul, which has been a battleground for the last 18 years.

“It is unclear whether the decrease in civilian casualties was influenced by any measures taken by parties to the conflict to better protect civilians, or by the ongoing talks between parties to the conflict” – the United Nations report stated. 

Aerial operations were the third-highest cause of civilian casualties, killing 145 civilians and wounding 83 during the quarter — a 41 per cent increase for those type of casualties compared with the same quarter in 2018. The report attributed almost all of those casualties to American airstrikes. – NY Times

The agency reported 581 civilians killed and 1,192 wounded during the first quarter, a 23 per cent decrease in overall casualties compared with the same period in 2018.

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