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UN Says Civilian Deaths In Afghanistan Have Reached ‘Extreme Levels’
Editor's Note: This article originally appeared on Radio Free Europe/Radio Free Liberty.
The United Nations says that civilian deaths in Afghanistan remain at "extreme levels," with the highest number recorded in the first nine months of 2018 since the same period in 2014.
A new report by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) issued on October 10 has found that 2,798 civilians were killed and 5,252 were wounded between January 1 and September 30.
It's a 21 percent spike compared to the same period last year, with a 46 percent increase in casualties from suicide attacks alone.
Improvised explosive devices caused nearly half of all deaths and injuries, the report says, while fighting between insurgents and Afghan security forces comes next with 605 civilian deaths.
Air strikes by Afghan and U.S. forces caused 313 deaths and 336 injuries.
Women and children made up more than 60 percent of casualties from air strikes.
During all of 2017, the UN said 3,438 people were killed and 7,015 wounded.
The UN count is considered a conservative estimate as it needs at least three independent sources to officially register a case.
"As there can be no military solution to the fighting in Afghanistan, the United Nations renews its call for an immediate and peaceful settlement to the conflict," said Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UNAMA chief in Kabul.
Copyright (c) 2018. RFE/RL, Inc. Reprinted with the permission of Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, 1201 Connecticut Ave NW, Ste 400, Washington DC 20036.
The Pentagon has identified the two soldiers were killed in combat in Afghanistan on Wednesday as members of U.S. Army Special Forces.
Master Sgt. Luis F. DeLeon-Figueroa, 31, and Master Sgt. Jose J. Gonzalez, 35, both died in Faryab Province from wounds sustained from small arms fire, the Pentagon said in a press release. The incident is under investigation.
JERUSALEM (Reuters) - Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu hinted on Thursday of possible Israeli involvement in attacks against Iranian-linked targets in Iraq.
A series of blasts in the past few weeks have hit weapon depots and bases belonging to paramilitary groups in Iraq, many of them backed by Israel's regional foe Iran. The groups blamed the United States and Israel for the blasts on Wednesday.
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Wednesday that will make it easier for permanently disabled veterans to have their student loan debt forgiven.
Physical fitness tests were briefly suspended earlier this week and outdoor cardio testing will be curtailed for the remainder of the summer at Eglin Air Force Base, Florida, after an airman died Saturday. She had completed her PT test on Friday.
Navy Secretary Richard Spencer has expanded a review of the Judge Advocate General Corps to include the Marine Corps, a Navy spokesman said on Thursday.
"There is value in applying this review and its subsequent recommendations across the Department of the Navy," Cmdr. Jereal Dorsey told Task & Purpose. "The review's purpose is to confirm the uniformed legal community is structurally and organizationally sound and best supporting the good order and discipline our integrated naval force."