More children dying as a result of conflict in Afghanistan: UN
An Afghan health worker administers the polio vaccine to a child during a campaign on the outskirts of Jalalabad on October 17, 2016. (AFP/Noorullah Shirzada)
The United Nations has expressed deep concerns over the continuing rise in the number of children killed or wounded in Afghanistan, renewing calls for the protection of Afghan children.
In a new report released Wednesday, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said child casualties saw a marked increase between January and September 2016 even though the overall number of conflict-related civilian casualties in Afghanistan fell by one percent in the nine-month period compared to the same period in 2015.
The UN report said that it had documented a total of 639 deaths and 1,822 injuries among kids, noting that children casualties have risen every year since 2013.
According to the UN mission, there is a 15-percent increase in casualties among Afghan children from January to September this year, compared to the same period last year.
"Eighty-four percent of victims from unexploded ordnance were children," said the UN human rights director, Danielle Bell, stressing the need to “protect current and future generations of children from harm."
Taliban was removed from power following a US-led invasion of Afghanistan in 2001, but they have stepped up their activities in recent months, attempting to overrun several provinces.
Afghan forces have engaged in fierce clashes with Taliban militants to contain the insurgency.
The rising violence in Afghanistan comes despite the presence of thousands of foreign troops in the war-ravaged country.