Worsening suicide attacks contributed to another grim, record-setting period for civilian casualties in Afghanistan, the United Nations said Monday.
Between Jan. 1 and June 30, 1,662 civilians were killed, an increase of 2 percent over the then-record-high number of civilians killed during same period last year.
“The human cost of this terrible conflict in Afghanistan — loss of life, destruction and immense suffering — is far too high,” Tadamichi Yamamoto, the secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan, said in a statement. “The continued use of indiscriminate, disproportionate and illegal improvised explosive devices is particularly appalling and must immediately stop.”
The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan’s (UNAMA) latest midyear report comes as the Pentagon deliberates on a new strategy for the United States in the country, including whether to send thousands more U.S. troops to break what top generals have described as a stalemate against the Taliban.