Afghan civilian deaths rose 7 percent in 2013
Civilian deaths in the conflict in Afghanistan rose sharply last year, nearing the record levels of bloodletting reached in 2011 as Afghan security forces stepped up operations and Taliban-led insurgents continued to target the innocent, according to U.N. statistics released Saturday.
Despite U.S.-led efforts to wind down the war, the annual U.N. report showed that more women and children died in conflict-related violence than in any year since 2009.
The total of 2,959 deaths recorded by the U.N. in 2013 was a 7 percent rise from 2012 and brought the number of civilians killed since 2009 to more than 14,000.
An additional 5,656 Afghan civilians were injured in 2013, a 17 percent increase from 2012.