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UN: Civilian Casualties Record High In Afghan Conflict

Demonstrators hold banners during an anti-Taliban protest in Kabul on February 17.

The United Nations mission in Kabul says civilian casualties in the Afghan conflict reached a record high in the first half of 2016, with children in particular paying a heavy price as militant groups step up fighting.

"Between January and June this year, the UN documented 1,601 civilian deaths and 3,565 injured civilians," the UNAMA said in a report released on July 25.

The figures represent an increase of four percent in the total number of casualties compared to the same period last year, it added.

The report said one-third of the casualties were children, with 388 killed and 1,121 wounded. That's 18 percent more than during the first half of 2015.

The UNAMA's midyear report comes just two days after at least 80 people were killed and more than 230 others injured by a suicide bombing attack on a peaceful demonstration in the capital, Kabul. The attack was claimed by the Islamic State extremist group.

Based on reporting by AFP and AP