Afghan civilians pay a high price
Civilian casualties are at record levels in the first half of this year, a report from the United Nations released overnight says. Afghan deaths and injuries have soared as government forces take on Taliban insurgents, who now control large parts of Afghanistan. In the first 6 months of the year, more than 1,600 civilians died – a 47% rise compared with the first half of last year. The UN special envoy for Afghanistan Deborah Lyons said she hoped the Afghan Government and the Taliban “take heed of the conflict’s grim and chilling trajectory”. Meanwhile, US Marine General Kenneth McKenzie says America has stepped up airstrikes against the Taliban in recent days and that will likely continue after the last US troops leave by the end of next month.
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