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UN Report: Afghan Civilian Casualties Rose 3 Percent In 2016

Suspected Islamic State (IS) and Taliban militants are brought before media during a press conference in Jalalabad on December 6, 2016.

The United Nations says civilian casualties in Afghanistan hit a record high in 2016, with 11,418 people killed or wounded.

A total of 3,498 civilians were killed and 7,920 were wounded in the Afghan conflict last year, a combined increase of 3 percent over the previous year, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said in a report published on February 6.

One-third of those killed or wounded were children.

About 61 percent of all civilian casualties were caused by antigovernment groups like the Taliban and Islamic State (IS), the report said.

UN investigators attributed 4,953 deaths and injuries to the Taliban. They also documented a 10-fold increase in casualties -- 899 deaths and injuries -- caused by IS militants, who last year launched an increasing number of suicide attacks.

Afghan security forces caused about 20 percent of the casualties, while pro-government militias and international forces caused 2 percent each.

Based on reporting by AFP and Reuters