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UN Says Increase In Afghan Civilian Casualties From Ground Operations

An Afghan policeman arrives at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on April 10.

The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) says a record number of Afghan civilians have been killed in ground battles in the first three months of 2015.

UNAMA said in a report on April 12 that the number of casualties caused by ground operations increased by 8 percent in the first quarter compared to the same time in 2014.

But it said the total number of civilian casualties had decreased by 2 percent.

Overall, 655 civilians were killed and 1,155 injured in the first quarter, while ground fighting between government and antigovernment forces caused 136 deaths and 385 injuries.

Nicholas Haysom, the head of UNAMA, urged “all parties to the conflict to take all necessary measures to protect civilians."

UNAMA said antigovernment forces are responsible for almost three-quarters of the total civilian casualties.

Based on reporting by dpa, UNAMA