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Civilian casualties in Afghanistan hit record high amid US withdrawal, UN says

Earlier today, the United Nations warned that civilian casualties in Afghanistan have reached record highs in the first half of 2021, likely due to the US military’s withdrawal. Deaths and injuries spiked in May, around the time that the US and its allies began withdrawal procedures. Roughly 5,183 civilian casualties were recorded in the first half of this year, marking a 47% increase from the first half of 2021. The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan released a report detailing its findings pertaining to civilian casualties. According to the report, the number of deaths and injuries recorded during May and June alone was 2,392, almost as high as the total for the four proceeding months.

The United Nations stated that 2021 would likely conclude as the deadliest year for Afghan civilians since the records began unless urgent actions against violence were taken. The report stated that half of the casualties were women and children, groups that were killed and injured in record numbers this year. The organization found that 32% of casualties were children whereas 14% were women, comprising a total of 687 dead and 1,722 injured.

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