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UN Decries 'Unprecedented' Afghan Civilian Casualties In July-September

FILE: Afghan orphans, who lost their parents in conflicts, eat a meal at Sheikh Mohammed Bin Rashid al-Maktoum orphanage house, in the southern Afghan city of Kandahar.

The United Nations said that an "unprecedented" number of civilians were killed or wounded in Afghanistan from July to September, calling the violence "totally unacceptable."

The UN said in a report on October 17 that the 1,174 deaths and 3,139 injured amount to a 42 percent increase over the same time period last year.

The report says "antigovernment elements" such as the Taliban are mostly to blame for the spike.

In July alone more casualties were recorded than in any other month since the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) began documenting the violence in 2009, the report said.

The first six months of the year had seen casualties drop somewhat compared to previous years.

UNAMA recorded 8,239 civilian casualties in total in the first nine months of 2019 -- 2,563 killed and 5,676 wounded -- and 41 percent were women and children.

"Civilian casualties are totally unacceptable," especially given most parties recognize that there is no military solution in Afghanistan, said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN's special representative in Kabul.

"The impact of Afghanistan's conflict on civilians is appalling," said Fiona Frazer, UNAMA's Human Rights Chief.

With reporting by AFP and AP