By Shadi Khan Saif
KABUL, Afghanistan (AA) – A total of 8,050 civilian casualties were reported in Afghanistan in the first nine months of this year, a report by the UN said on Tuesday.
“The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) documented 8,050 civilian casualties (2,798 dead and 5,252 injured) in the first nine months of this year,” the report said.
Suicide and non-suicide improvised explosive devices (IEDs) by anti-government elements are marked as the leading causes of civilian casualties.
The second leading cause of civilian casualties is aerial operations and explosive remnants of war, it said.
Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan and head of UNAMA, renewed his call for utmost efforts to protect civilians from harm.
“As there can be no military solution to the fighting in Afghanistan, the United Nations renews its call for an immediate and peaceful settlement to the conflict to end the suffering of the Afghan people," he said.
For the first time, eastern Nangarhar province surpassed Kabul as the province with most civilian casualties in the first nine months of 2018, more than double the number recorded during the same period in 2017.
Separately, authorities in Nangarhar claimed up to 75 Taliban rebels, including their commanders, have surrendered.
Hayatullah Hayat, the provincial governor, told reporters on Tuesday these former rebels from the restive Bati Kot district would now help in bringing peace to this part of the province marred by pro-Daesh terrorism.