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  • Children drink water from a public water pump on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan on March 4, 2016.

    Children drink water from a public water pump on the outskirts of Kabul, Afghanistan on March 4, 2016. | Photo: Reuters

Published 18 April 2016

At least 600 civilians have been killed and 1,343 injured in fighting so far this year, U.N. human rights investigators said.

Schools and health facilities have come under increasing threat as violence spreads in Afghanistan, making it harder for children to gain access to education and medical care, the United Nations reported Monday.

"It is simply unacceptable for teachers, doctors and nurses to be subjected to violence or threats, and for schools and medical facilities to be misused or attacked,” Nicholas Haysom, the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan, said in a statement.

U.N. monitors recorded 257 conflict-related incidents in 2015, up from 130 in 2014.

At least 63 medical personnel were also killed or wounded in 2015, most of them in a single attack by a United States warplane on a Medecins Sans Frontieres hospital in the northern city of Kunduz in October.

In 2014, 25 health workers were killed or wounded.

Deaths and injuries among teachers and other education workers were down to 26 in 2015 from 37 the year before, but abductions spiked to 49 from 14 in the same period.

Violence forced more than 369 schools to close last year, affecting more than 139,000 students and 600 teachers, according to the U.N. report.

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