Fighting and brutal violence claimed exactly 3,804 civilian lives in 2018 – including 927 children, another tragic record for the year – according to data carefully collected by the UN. The number represents an increase of 11 per cent compared to 2017.
In addition, 7,189 people were injured in 2018, 5 per cent more than in the previous year.
Overall, close to two thirds of the civilian casualties were caused by armed opposition groups, including the Taliban, Islamic State and other undetermined groups. However, civilians were also collateral victims of pro-Government forces (including the Afghan military and international forces) responsible for close to one quarter of all civilian casualties.
According to the report, the increase is largely due to a spike in suicide attacks by armed opposition groups, as well as increased harm to civilians from aerial and search operations by pro-Government forces.