A United Nations mission in Afghanistan said more civilians have been killed or injured in the past quarter than in any three-month period in the last decade.

A report released Thursday said the 1,174 civilian deaths and 3,139 injuries in the third quarter of this year marked a 42% increase compared with the same period last year.

 In the previous quarter, 785 civilians were killed and 1,254 were wounded.

The latest figures brings to more than 8,000 the number of casualties in the first nine months of 2019. The U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan said most of those were caused buy anti-government insurgents.

The report said women and children accounted for more than 41% of casualties this month, with 631 children being killed and 1,830 injured.

“The harm caused to civilians by the fighting in Afghanistan signals the importance of peace talks leading to a cease-fire and a permanent political settlement to the conflict; there is no other way forward,” said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the U.N. secretary-general’s special representative for Afghanistan. “Civilian casualties are totally unacceptable, especially in the context of the widespread recognition that there can be no military solution to the conflict in Afghanistan.”
 

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