UN urges Taliban not to use IEDs

October 8, 2018 - 23:0

TEHRAN - The United Nations has called on insurgent groups in Afghanistan to refrain from using improvised explosive devices (IEDs) in civilian areas, after it reported a sharp rise in civilian casualties caused by the explosives this year.

“The killing and maiming of Afghan civilians by improvised explosive devises, particularly suicide devices, has reached extreme levels in Afghanistan,” the U.N. mission in the country said in a report on Sunday.

IEDs caused nearly half of all conflict-related civilian casualties from Jan. 1 to Sept. 30, the report said. It documented 1,065 civilian deaths and 2,569 civilians injured by all IED attacks during that time — a 21 percent increase compared to the same period last year.

The number of civilian casualties caused specifically by suicide IED attacks increased by 46 percent during that time, according to the report.

The number of civilian deaths in Afghanistan hit a new high in the first half of this year, the most recorded since the UN mission in Afghanistan began documenting civilian casualties in 2009. The use of IEDs in attacks by armed opposition groups continued to the leading cause of civilian casualties in Afghanistan.

UNAMA also expressed concerns over a rise in deliberate attacks on civilians, mostly carried out by the Taliban and ISIS.

Meanwhile, on Sunday, the war in Afghanistan entered its 18th year. The war, which began on October 7 2001 after September 11 attacks in the U.S., has claimed thousands of civilian lives and resulted in wanton destruction.

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