>> 15 years after the start of the Afghan war, a grim new record. The United Nations says the number of children killed or maimed rose by 24% last year to a new high.>> In 2016, UNAMA documented 11,418 civilian casualties, an overall 3% increase compared to the previous record high documented in 2015.
>> The UN says this is mainly because of fighting taking place close to residential areas. Afghanistan also has a problem with unexploded ammunition. Nearly 90% of those injured by leftover explosives are children, often when playing, collecting scrap metal, or tending to farms.>> I am particularly concerned about the alarming increase in child casualties.
The killing and maiming of thousands of Afghan civilians is deeply harrowing and largely preventable.>> International forces largely withdrew from the battlefield in 2014 and fighting has now moved into more populated areas. And although the international coalition accounted for only 2% of civilian casualties, it was behind some of the worst single incidents that took place.
Including the airstrike on a village near Kunduz, in which 32 civilians died, among them, 20 children.