Civilian casualties in Afghanistan hit a record high in the first half of 2015, according to a UN report.
There were 4921 civilian casualties – 1592 deaths and 3329 injured – during the first six months of the year, an increase of one percent compared to the first half of 2014, the UN said.
Conflict-related violence took a particularly heavy toll on women and children, said Danielle Bell, human rights director of the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.
"Women civilian casualties increased by 23 percent (164 deaths and 395 injured), while child casualties increased by 13 percent (153 deaths and 302 injured)," she said.
"The thousands of civilians killed and injured demonstrate the continued failure of parties to the conflict to protect civilians from harm."
Taliban and other anti-government forces were responsible for 70 percent of the civilian casualties, the report said, accounting for 1213 deaths and 2223 injured.
The Taliban accepted responsibility for only one-third of those casualty figures, the UN said.
Pro-government forces, including the military and local militias, were responsible for 15 percent of the civilian casualties, while one percent was attributed to international military forces.
International forces have not been actively engaged in combat since the end of last year except for airstrikes and special forces operations.
Civilian casualties due to aerial operations by both international military and Afghan forces increased by 88 percent, the UN said.
The northern province of Kunduz was the most dangerous province for civilians, with 52 deaths and 162 injured reported from ground engagements.