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Afghan civilian casualties rise as Nato pulls out

Published on Feb 8, 2014 8:17 PM

KABUL (AFP) - The number of civilians killed and wounded in Afghanistan rose 14 per cent last year, the United Nations said on Saturday, as NATO troops draw down after more than a decade of war.

A total of 8,615 civilian casualties were recorded in 2013, with 2,959 killed and 5,656 wounded, according to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan's (UNAMA) annual report.

The death toll almost reached the record of 2011, with UNAMA saying that civilians killed or wounded in the crossfire of fighting between government and Taleban-led insurgent forces marked a new trend last year.

UNAMA put this down to the reduction of ground and air operations by the United States-led NATO force as it withdraws by the end of 2014.

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