As with all conflicts, the death toll numbers of civilians are always horrifying. Unfortunately, in Afghanistan, the number of civilians killed in the conflict has reached an all-time high.
Indescriminent Civilian Death Toll
Terrorist organizations like the Taliban and ISIS do not follow the typical rules of engagement. Because of their methods, especially homemade bombs and suicide bombers, the percentage of women and children killed in the war has grown exponentially since 2017.
In 2017, the Taliban’s homemade bombs accounted for 40% of casualties in the first six months. In addition, the number of children killed went up 9% year over year, and 23% more women were killed.
Recent numbers estimate that the death toll is closer to 50,000. Data from Harvard University Kennedy School’s Linda Bilmes estimates that the number is 47,245 for the longest war the United States has participated in.
UN’s head of the Afghanistan mission, Tadamichi Yamamoto, said, The human cost of this ugly war in Afghanistan – loss of life, destruction, and immense suffering – is far too high.”
“The continued use of indiscriminate, disproportionate, and illegal improvised explosive devices [IEDs] is particularly appalling and must immediately stop.”Tadamichi Yamamoto
According to the UN, around two-thirds of the deaths are because of the Taliban and additional anti-government groups like Islamic State.
In 2017, 596 civilians were killed because of IEDs. However, they determined that the worst attack was a truck bomb at Kabul on May 31, killing 150 people.
Many bombs left in fields or abandoned houses have also led to an increase in the civilian death toll, though at a slower rate.
Numerous Left Badly Injured
Around 1,483 were also left injured because of those bombs. Some of the injured even had to have limbs amputated. One of the victims was a 19-year old student and cricket player.
Kamel Danesh was in Helmand helping a friend and stepped on one of the Taliban’s mines.
“I didn’t hear the blast. I was just knocked over. My mouth filled with dust. I tried to stand up but couldn’t. I looked down and my leg was cut off at the bone. My hand was cut off.”Kamel Danesh
Medics saved his life, but Danesh said, “It was so painful. I prayed to God to take me.”