KABUL — Civilian deaths and injuries from the Afghan conflict remained at “record high levels” during the first half of this year, a new United Nations report has found. The report, released here Wednesday, said 1,592 civilians had been killed and 3,329 injured between January and June.
The casualty figures were slightly higher than the first half of last year and higher than any similar period since 2009, the U.N. report said. While about 70 percent of the deaths and injuries were caused by anti-government forces, mainly the Taliban, the report noted “with concern” that there had been a 60 percent increase in casualties caused by pro-government forces.
The report came after a period of especially aggressive and deadly attacks by Taliban fighters, both in their traditional southern strongholds such as Helmand Province and in new northern regions. Kunduz Province in the north, where the Taliban launched two offensives, saw the highest number of civilian casualties from ground combat of any province.