|Al Jazeera, July 31, 2009
The civilian death toll in Afghanistan has risen by 24 per cent this year, the United Nations has said.
In a new report released on Friday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) blamed bombings by the Taliban and air raids by international forces for the majority of the killings.
The report said that 1,013 civilians were killed on the sidelines of their country’s armed conflict from January to the end of June, compared to 818 in the first half of 2008 and 684 in the same period in 2007.
Commenting on the report, Navi Pillay, the UN high commissioner for human rights, said it was critical that steps be taken to shield Afghan communities from fighting.