Afghan police officers stand guard at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul, Afghanistan September 13, 2017. REUTERS/Mohammad Ismail – RC1B57AD2BE0

The United Nations has issued its latest report on the civilian casualties in Afghanistan, showing a major increase in civilians being killed in 2019. At least 3,812 civilians were killed or wounded in the first half of 2019.

Civilian casualties have been on the rise substantially over the course of the war, and this is just another troubling metric. The general increase may not even be as disturbing, however, as the fact that the Afghan government and US-led NATO forces are killing more civilians than the Taliban now. 

The UN report showed the US and its allies killed 717 people, more than half of them in airstrikes. The Taliban killed 531. This showed a continued trend from the April report that covered the first quarter of the year. 

Interestingly enough, the Pentagon issued a statement denying the report, saying that they work hard not to kill civilians, and their own data is more accurate than the UN report. The Pentagon, however, does not offer public reports on civilian deaths in Afghanistan.

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