Kabul, March 9 (IANS) The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan rose by 15 percent to 2,777 in 2010 from a year earlier, the Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission (AIHRC) and the UN Assistance Mission for Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a joint report Wednesday.
A total of 2,080 or 75 percent of civilian toll were attributed to insurgency related violence, up 28 percent from the figure in 2009, the report said.
It said 55 percent of all fatalities, or 1,141 deaths had been inflicted by suicide bomb attacks and IED blasts(Improvised Explosive Device).
Afghan and NATO-led forces were responsible for 440 civilian deaths or 16 percent of all the fatalities.
Other 257 or nine percent of civilian deaths were not caused by any party to the conflict, it said.
“We all know that there is no military solution to the conflict,” said Staffan de Mistura, the head of UNAMA, at a joint press conference with chairperson of AIHRC Sima Samar and the visiting UN Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic.
“We also know that everybody agrees there should be search for political solution, but now we are asking formally, strongly and firmly on behalf of Afghan people that 2011 should also see a search for the protection of civilians by all sides,” de Mistura said.
“Protection of civilians in armed conflicts means protection of basic human rights such as right to life, security and freedom of movement and respect for the international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict,” said Simonovic.
The UN and AIHRC have urged all the parties to take immediate steps to reduce civilian casualties.
The report also called on foreign forces in Afghanistan to make their investigation and reporting on civilian casualties more transparent.
Head of Afghan human rights watchdog Samar said her group is concerned over 105 percent increase in assassination that left 462 civilians dead with half of them in the country’s south where Taliban insurgents are active.