Even as the US and Taliban meet for ongoing failed peace summits, Afghan civilian deaths remain a growing tragedy in this long conflict. This tragedy is getting worse, not better. These five numbers tell the story.
- The US war in Afghanistan is now in its 18th year.
- More than 32,000 civilians have been killed in the last decade of the war alone. Most of these deaths have been blamed on insurgents and are the result of indiscriminate bombings and suicide attacks.
- In 2018, 28% of all civilian casualties were children. Last year that meant the death of 3,062 children. The frequent attack on education facilities by insurgents like the Taliban is one of the key reasons for this large number.
- Afghan civilian deaths are uncommonly tilted toward children. Since 2016, children have accounted for 30% of the 11,000 casualties every year in the conflict.
- The number of children killed by US and Afghan air strikes has also climbed in recent years. In 2018 492 children were killed or injured in airstrikes. This was an 85% increase over the previous year. In March of 2019, a US airstrike in Kunduz killed 10 children.