Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Taliban: 1160; Us: 828

The latest UNAMA report on civilian casualties:

UNAMA - Annual Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, 2008

... UNAMA Human Rights recorded a total of 2118 civilian casualties between 01 January and 31 December 2008. This figure represents an increase of almost 40% on the 1523 civilian deaths recorded in the year of 2007. The 2008 civilian death toll is thus the highest of any year since the end of major hostilities which resulted in the demise of the Taliban regime at the end of 2001.

Of the 2118 casualties reported in 2008, 1160 (55%) were attributed to antigovernment elements (AGEs) and 828 (39%) to pro-government forces. The remaining 130 (6%) could not be attributed to any of the conflicting parties since, for example, some civilians died as a result of cross-fire or were killed by unexploded ordinance. The majority of civilian casualties, namely 41%, occurred in the south of Afghanistan, which saw heavy fighting in several provinces. High casualty figures have also been reported in the south-east (20%), east (13%), central (13%) and western (9%) regions.In 2007 Afghan security forces and IMF supporting the Government in Afghanistan were responsible for 629 (or 41%) of the total civilian casualties recorded. At around 39% of total civilian casualties, the relative proportion of deaths attributed to pro-government forces remained relatively stable for 2008. However, at 828, the actual number of recorded noncombatant deaths caused by pro-government forces amounts to a 31% increase over the deaths recorded in 2007. This increase occurred notwithstanding various measures introduced by the IMF to reduce the impact of the war on civilians.

Air-strikes remain responsible for the largest percentage of civilian deaths attributed to progovernment forces. UNAMA recorded 552 civilian casualties of this nature in 2008...Accounting for 725 non-combatant deaths, or 34% of the total civilian casualties in 2008, suicide and IED attacks killed more Afghan civilians than any other tactic used by the parties to the conflict...

Large parts of the south, south-west, south-east, east, and central regions of Afghanistan are now classified by the UN Department of Safety and Security as an “extreme risk, hostile environment” for operations... (link to pdf here).

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