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July 19th, 2011

AFGHANISTAN – The United Nations reported that the past six months have been the deadliest for Afghan civilians in a decade.

  • The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its Mid-year Report on Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict and found that the number of civilian deaths from January to June 2011 rose by 15 percent compared to last year.

  • UNAMA also reported that the anticipated transition in security has had an effect on increased conflict-related incidents, amounting to a casualty count of 1,462 civilians in the past six months.

  • Anti-government and pro-government fighting is blamed for civilian deaths. The use of improvised explosive devices (IEDS), targeted killings, NATO airstrikes, ground fighting, and suicide attacks have led to the sharp rise in civilian casualties.

  • UNAMA first started documenting civilian casualties in 2007.

Original sources: AFP; AP; Al Jazeera English; BBC News; CNN International; NTDTV; Democracy Now!; Times of India; The Nation, Pakistan; Hindustan Times; The Independent; The Miami Herald; Los Angeles Times.

Analysts available for comment:

Patricia DeGennaro, Ph.D. is a senior fellow at the World Policy Institute and a subject matter expert on Afghanistan and Iraq for the U.S. Army’s Training and Doctrine Command Center for Intelligence. She recently returned from Iraq where she studied first hand the military transition to civil authority.


Location: North America

Languages: English; Albanian

Amin Saikal, Ph.D. is the director of the Centre for Arab and Islamic Studies at Australian National University. He is a leading authority on Afghanistan, and author of Modern Afghanistan: A History of Struggle and Survival (2006).


Location: Australia

Languages: English; Farsi; Pashto

Baqer Moin has been writing and broadcasting about politics and society in Afghanistan, Iran and Central Asia for more than three decades. From 1990-2004 he was head of the BBC Persian and Pashto Service, responsible for broadcasts to Afghanistan, Iran and Tajikistan. He served as deputy chair of the UN Media Commission for the 2005 Afghan parliamentary elections.


Location: West Europe

Languages: English; Arabic

Paul Sullivan, Ph.D. is a professor of economics at National Defense University and adjunct professor of Security Studies  (and Science, Technology and International Affairs) at Georgetown University.


Location: North America

Language: English

Mohammad Hashim Kamali, Ph.D. is the chairman of the International Institute of Advanced Islamic Studies in Malaysia. He was actively involved in Afghanistan’s post-9/11 democratic transition as a member and chairman of the Constitution Review Commission of Afghanistan, initiated in 2003.


Location: Southeast Asia

Language: Arabic; English

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