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Afghan civilian casualties rise as Nato pulls out: United Nations

Published on Feb 8, 2014 4:03 PM
An Afghan policeman looks on amid broken glass and debris at the site of a suicide attack in Kabul on January 26, 2014. A Taleban suicide bomber killed at least four people in Kabul on January 26 when he targeted a Ministry of Defence bus, officials said, confirming three people in the vehicle and one female bystander had died. -- FILE PHOTO: AFP

KABUL (AFP) - The number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan's war rose 14 per cent last year, the United Nations said on Saturday, with deaths almost reaching the record of 2011.

Civilians killed or wounded in the crossfire of fighting between government and Taleban-led insurgent forces was a marked new trend in 2013, the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in its annual report.

UNAMA put this down to the reduction of ground and air operations by the United States-led Nato force as it withdraws after more than a decade of war.

Afghan forces have been taking an increasing role in the fight against the Taleban as the coalition withdraws by the end of 2014.

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