News Update :

Sharp rise in civilian casualties in Afghanistan - UN

Sunday, April 28, 2013

AFGHANISTAN: Civilian casualties in Afghanistan rose by almost 30 percent in the first three months of 2013, a UN envoy has said, describing a recent Taliban attack on court staff as a “war crime”. Jan Kubis, UN special representative for Afghanistan, said the “troubling” rise, compared to the same period last year, followed a 12 percent drop in civilian casualties over the whole of 2012. He told a NATO ministerial briefing in Brussels on Tuesday that 475 civilians were killed and 872 wounded from January to March.

“I once again call on anti-government groups to cease targeting civilians, using children in suicide operations and attacking public places including places of worship,” Kubis said, in a copy of a speech released by the UN in Kabul.

The UN official described an April 3 attack on a court complex in the western city of Farah as “nothing less than a war crime”. Taliban statements that courthouses and judicial staff are now considered targets “are of extreme concern”, he said.

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