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UN Says Afghan Civilian Casualties Are Rising

UN Special Representative to Afghanistan Jan Kubis holds up a copy of a report on civilian casualties at a press conference in Kabul on February 8, 2014.

The United Nations says the number of civilians killed or wounded in fighting in Afghanistan jumped 22 percent last year to reach the highest level in five years.

In an annual report released on February 18, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said it documented 10,548 civilian casualties in 2014, compared with 8,637 the previous year.

It said the Taliban and other militants were responsible for 72 percent of all civilian casualties, with government forces and foreign troops responsible for 14 percent.

The report attributed the rise in casualties to increased ground fighting, in which weapons like mortars and rockets are used in populated areas.

U.S. and NATO forces formally ended their combat mission at the end of 2014, with Afghan troops taking charge of the country's security.

Based on reporting by AP and AFP