- US-Backed Forces Killed Twice as Many Children as Taliban and ISIS Did During 1st Quarter of 2020
by Andrea Germanos, staff writer, https://www.commondreams.org/
The new quarterly report on casualties comes a month after U.N. Secretary-General António Guterres called for a global ceasefire amid the coronavirus pandemic.
New data released Monday from the United Nations finds that U.S.-backed forces in Afghanistan were responsible for killing more than twice as many children as did extremists during the first three months of 2020.
The figures come from the latest quarterly report by the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA). From January 1 – March 31, said UNAMA, there were 1,293 civilian casualties in Afghanistan, including 533 killed and 760 injured. The tally reflects a 29% decrease compared to the same three-month period last year but still underscores that “the conflict in Afghanistan continues to be one of the deadliest in the world for civilians, at a time when the potential impact of COVID-19 poses a threat to all individuals in Afghanistan,” said UNAMA.
The report puts the blame for the majority of the casualties—55%—on “anti-government elements,” including the Taliban and ISIS. Those groups caused 710 civilian casualties, including 282 killed and 428 injured.
But so called “pro-government forces,” which are comprised of Afghan national security forces and international military forces, were responsible 32% of all civilian casualties during the first quarter, causing 412 civilian casualties including 198 killed and 214 injured.
“Of concern,” said the report, “pro-government forces were responsible for more child casualties than anti-government elements during the first three months of the year and over twice as many child deaths, mainly due to airstrikes and indirect fire during ground engagements.” Afghan national security forces are to blame for 21% and international military forces for 8% of overall civilian casualties, added the report.