UN: Afghan war claims record number of civilian lives 

The war in Afghanistan has claimed a record number of civilian lives in the first half of the year partly because of an increase in suicide attacks, the United Nations said Monday.

The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan documented 1,662 civilian deaths between Jan. 1 and June 30, an increase of 2 percent over the same period last year. The number of civilians injured during that period fell 1 percent, to 3,581.

Deaths in the capital, Kabul, which has historically been one of the safest places in Afghanistan, accounted for some 20 percent of the total tally. That figure highlight the deteriorating security situation in the country, more 15 years after the U.S.-led invasion that ousted the Taliban.

UNAMA said deaths and injuries from complex attacks, killed 259 civilians and injured 892, a 15 percent increase over last year’s figures.

The agency’s latest report said anti-government groups, such as the Taliban and Islamic State, caused 67 percent of civilian casualties, up 12 percent from last year. Attacks by anti-government groups in which improvised explosives were used, were responsible for at least 40 percent of all civilian casualties.

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