Civilians in Afghanistan continued to bear the brunt of the Afghan conflict, with more than 1,500 civilians killed in the country in the first half of the year said a UN spokesman at a daily news briefing held here Wednesday.
The UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) documented 4,921 civilian casualties, including 1,592 deaths and 3,329 injuries, from January to June, according to Stephane Dujarric, spokesman for the UN secretary-general.
"This represents a 1 percent increase in total civilian casualties compared to the same period in 2014," said Dujarric.
The vast majority -- or 90 percent -- of civilian casualties resulted from ground engagements, improvised explosive devices, complex and suicide attacks and targeted killings, according to the 2015 mid-year report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict, which was released by UNAMA Wednesday.
Anti-government elements continued to cause the most harm despite a slight reduction in total civilian casualties. UNAMA blamed them for 70 percent of civilian casualties.
Pro-government forces were also responsible for 16 percent of civilian deaths and injuries, which is up 60 percent compared to the same period last year, according to the UNAMA report.
The Secretary-General's Special Representative Nicholas Haysom stressed again that all parties to the conflict must fulfill their obligations under international humanitarian law to minimize the impact of the conflict on civilians, according to Dujarric.
The Islamist regime Taliban was toppled by a U.S.-led coalition in 2001, but conflicts persist as Taliban has been able to regroup and challenge Afghan forces.