The US Special Inspector General for Afghanistan, or SIGAR, reported an all-time high number of civilian casualties for a 3-month period since such fatalities were first recorded in 2009, citing UNAMA numbers.
The report, which was released on Oct. 30, cites the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, UNAMA, and says there were 4,313 casualties in the three-month period, consisting of 1,174 deaths and 3,139 injuries.
Also citing UNAMA, the report stated that this is a 42 percent increase in civilian casualties compared to numbers from the same period last year.
The SIGAR report also drew on numbers by the Resolute Support Mission in Afghanistan.
SIGAR quotes RS as saying that Afghanistan experienced 4,554 civilian casualties, a 39% increase in the number of civilian casualties from June 1 through September 30, 2019, compared to the same period last year, reversing the decline reported earlier this year.
There was agreement in some areas between the military and civilian reports.
According to SIGAR report, RS said the increase in civilian casualties was due to a high number of terrorist and insurgent attacks prior to the presidential elections that included the use of improvised explosive devices (IEDs).
However, SIGAR reports, RS attributed less casualties to pro-government forces.
The report says that the elite Afghan Special Security Forces conducted more operations against the Taliban and other insurgents in January–September 2019 than in all of 2018. Meanwhile, US and Coalition air missions released more munitions in Afghanistan in September 2019 than in any month since October 2010.
According to the report, RS information shows the Taliban increased both its overall and “effective” (casualty-producing) attacks against the ANDSF and Coalition this quarter.
Overall, from January to September, the Taliban were responsible for 3,823 civilian casualties, 46 percent of the total casualties in that time period, according to the report, citing UNAMA.
Improvised explosive device (IED) attacks, in particular, spiked in 2019, the report said, citing RS.
During the months of July, August, and September, UNAMA documented an alarming 72% increase in civilian casualties caused by IEDs compared to the same period in 2018, the report stated.
The report comes a month after US President Donald Trump called off the peace negotiations with the Taliban.
The U.S. has since begun to wind down its force presence in the country despite the lack of a working peace deal with Taliban forces.