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Afghans killed more by pro-government forces than Taliban

IANS  |  Kabul 

Pro-government forces in have killed more civilians in the first three months of 2019 than the and other insurgent groups, the UN said in a report.

It was the first time since the UN began tracking civilian casualties in over a decade ago that the pro-government forces have caused a majority of deaths, reports on Friday.

Overall 581 civilians were killed and 1,192 injured in between January and March, down nearly a quarter from a year earlier, and at the lowest level since 2013.

That fall was largely driven by a reduction in suicide attacks, the UN said.

Pro-government forces caused 305 civilian deaths, and opposition fighters 227 deaths. Another 49 deaths were caused by crossfire or could not be attributed.

The US' Afghanistan peace envoy, Zalmay Khalilzad, tweeted that he was "distressed by reports of civilian casualties" but did not directly address the UN figures.

Khalilzad, who has been tasked with brokering a deal with the Taliban, added that the only way to stop the blood flow was a ceasefire.

blamed insurgents for causing the deaths by using human shields.

"The real reason behind the number of civilian casualties is armed militants who use civilians as their shield and use their homes as their battleground," the presidential information coordination centre said on

The report also detailed attacks on education and

The UN recorded 18 instances in which schools were targeted, the majority by or other insurgents. Among the most serious were attacks on girls' schools in province, setting buildings and equipment on fire.



(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Fri, April 26 2019. 15:50 IST