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Civilian casualties up sharply in Afghanistan as U.S. departure nears
Civilian casualties up sharply in Afghanistan as U.S. departure nears

Accelerating a grim trend in the evolving war in Afghanistan, civilian casualties rose sharply in the first half of this year due to heavier ground combat between government forces and insurgents in populated areas, the United Nations reported Tuesday. Through the end of June, the U.N. mission in Afghanistan documented 1,564 civilian deaths and 3,289 injured. The total represented a 24% increase over the same period last year and was particularly devastating for children, whose casualties as a result of ground operations more than doubled. The statistics were a reminder that the hostilities are far from over even as U.S.-led international forces prepare to depart the country by the end...

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