The United Nations Assistant Secretary-General for Human Rights, Ivan Simonovic, said Wednesday that an average of 70 people were killed everyday in Afghanistan during 2014.
“2014 marks the year of heaviest casualty in Afghanistan since the U.N. High Commissioner for Human Rights started to launch reports in 2009,” said Simonovic, speaking at the U.N. headquarters in New York City. Simonovic added that ground combat surpassed improvised explosive devices as the leading cause of killings in the country.
In his report the UN official also said that 70 percent of death were caused by the country's insurgents, 14 percent were caused by government forces, while the responsibility for the remaining number could not be determined.
Afghanistan was invaded in 2001 by NATO forces as part of then U.S. President George W. Bush’s so-called war on terror. Since the invasion, which left some 220,000 dead, the country has been grappling with insecurity despite the presence of foreign troops.
UPDATE: Among those killed in Afghanistan in January this year were two foreign hostages, U.S. and Italian citizens. The White House said Thursday that two other U.S. citizens, both al-Qaeda members, were killed in U.S. attacks in the same region. In a written statement, the White House expressed "tremendous sorrow" over the hostage deaths, but has yet to regret the deaths of innocent Afghanis.