Civilian Casualties since the Taleban Takeover: New UNAMA report shows sharp drop – but some communities still under threat,

Kate Clark

[…] Between 15 August 2021 and 30 May 2023, when UNAMA’s data set for this report ends, it recorded 3,774 civilian casualties, 1,095 people killed and 2,679 wounded.[2] The figures for that 21 month period were substantially lower, in terms of the average monthly civilian casualty toll, than for any single year since 2009 when UNAMA began systematically recording civilian casualties. In 2009, the average number of civilian casualties per month was almost three times greater than in those 21 months; in 2016, it was more than five times higher.[…]

Over the twelve and a half years between 2009 and 30 June 2021, when UNAMA published their final pre-takeover report, they recorded 55,041 civilians as having been killed or injured in the conflict. These are the casualties that UNAMA was able to verify – the actual figure will be even higher.The respite from conflict-related violence, which came with the Taleban’s return to power, was for most people, immediate and has been lasting. Many have been able to travel for the first time in years, to farm without fear of artillery shells or air strikes and shop or go to work without fear of attack. However, not everyone has seen the risk of attack reduced. Although violence is now at much lower levels, it is far more targeted at particular communities. Moreover, most civilian casualties appear to be not collateral damage in attacks on military targets but the result of deliberate attacks on civilians and civilian objects. […]

Roughly three-quarters of the total number of civilians killed and injured in the period covered by UNAMA’s report, 15 August 2021 to 30 May 2023, were victims of IED attacks; UNAMA includes in this category both suicide attacks (IEDs fixed to the person) and IEDs fixed to vehicles or laid on roads or in buildings. That high number is why it has focused this report on IEDs and the “casualties of indiscriminate IED attacks in populated areas, including places of worship, schools and markets.” […]

UNAMA attributes the majority of casualties from IEDs in the 21 month period under study to ISKP (Islamic State in Khorasan Province) (1,701), but says “[a] significant number of casualties (1,095) … resulted from IED attacks which were never claimed and/or for which UNAMA was unable to attribute responsibility.” The increase in ISKP-authored attacks came after a period in which their use of this means of attack had reduced (see chart below). Läs artikel