The United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) released its latest report regarding the casualties inflicted on civilians during the two days of parliamentary elections on 20th and 21st of October.
According to UNAMA, the mission has recorded 435 civilian casualties during the two days of elections, including 56 people who were killed and 379 who were wounded.
The report by UNAMA revealed the majority of the casualties were inflicted during the first day of elections, on October 20th, during which 52 deaths and 339 injuries were reported.
This is the highest level of civilian harm compared to the four previous elections held in Afghanistan, UNAMA said, adding that the level of civilian harm linked to parliamentary elections is particularly high compared to previous election cycles when factoring into account the deaths and injuries resulting from electoral-related violence experienced over the preceding months during the voter registration and campaigning periods.
The report documents grave concerns over the numerous attacks by Anti-Government Elements, mainly Taliban, directed at civilian objects and populated civilian areas during the elections, including attacks against schools used as polling centres.
According to UNAMA, these attacks were mainly carried out using indirect-fire systems such as rockets, grenades and mortars, as well as improvised explosive devices (IEDs), all of which have indiscriminate effects.
“Indirect fire aimed in the direction of polling centres and other civilian areas, accounted for 38 per cent of civilian casualties, while non-suicide IEDs, mostly placed at or near polling centres, many of which were located in schools, clinics and mosques, accounted for 23 per cent. Shooting by Anti-Government Elements during ground fighting accounted for an additional 12 per cent of civilian casualties,” the report added.