UN urges halt to attacks on Afghan civilians after day of record casualties

KARACHI: The United Nations on Saturday called on anti-Government elements in Afghanistan to stop targeting civilian-populated areas, after a series of attacks yesterday killed at least 40 people, injured more than 300 and caused extensive damage to homes and property.

This was the highest number of civilians killed and injured in one day since the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began systematically recording civilian casualties in 2009.

In a statement issued following the three attacks carried out in Kabul on Friday, UNAMA repeated its call for anti-Government elements, including the Taliban, to cease the use of complex and suicide attacks in civilian-populated areas.

Those responsible for suicide and complex attacks in civilian-populated areas can no longer shrug off the disproportionate harm to the civilian population they cause, said Nicholas Haysom, the Secretary-General’s Special Representative and head of UNAMA.

The Afghan people are resilient, but the suffering caused by these tactics in terms of civilian deaths, injuries, and the loss of family members, is extreme, irreversible and unjustifiable in any terms.

Between 1 January and 7 August 2015, UNAMA documented 1,523 civilian casualties (282 deaths and 1,241 injured) from complex and suicide attacks launched by anti-Government elements, almost doubling the death and injuries compared to the same period in 2014.

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