Five children a day victims of Afghan war: UN

Afghan children stand outside their homes in a camp for internally displaced (IDP) Afghans in Kabul. – AFP (File Photo)

KABUL: Child casualties in the conflict in Afghanistan rose by more than a quarter last year, the UN said Wednesday, with an average of nearly five youngsters killed or injured every day in 2011.

A UN report on children in armed conflict said a total of 1,756 children were killed or injured in the war in Afghanistan in 2011, an average of 4.8 a day, compared with 1,396 in 2010.

The UN children's agency UNICEF said more than 300 under-18s were reportedly recruited to fight in Afghanistan, where Taliban militants are waging an increasingly bloody insurgency against the government and its Western backers.

“The death or maiming of a single child is a tragedy. This level of avoidable suffering of children, as is presented in the Secretary General's report, is simply unacceptable,” said UNICEF Afghanistan Deputy Representative, Vidhya Ganesh.

“It is imperative that all parties to the conflict do everything they can, right away, to protect the lives and the basic rights of the children of Afghanistan.”

In February the Afghan government said police had rescued 41 children, some as young as six, from being smuggled into Pakistan to be trained as suicide bombers.

Earlier that month, the authorities announced the arrest of two 10-year-old would-be suicide bombers allegedly planning to attack Afghan and international forces in the southern province of Kandahar, the Taliban's birthplace.

Tens of thousands of children in Afghanistan, driven by poverty, work on the streets of the war-torn country's cities and often fall prey to Taliban bombings and other violence, as well as abuse.

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Comments (4) Closed

Jun 13, 2012 04:57pm
It is always sad when children are the victims. We must identify the obvious culprits who are recruiting these innocent children to do their heinous job of suicide bombings. The terrorists have been targeting children in their schools and as well as brainwashing them to become suicide bombers. Did we not see them poisoning school girls lately? Have we not noticed the various attacks near children’s schools that kill scores of school going children? Is it not time for us to realize that the real enemy have been targeting our children for decades? The coward terrorists believe that by hurting children they can break the resolve of the people who are striving for peace in their country. Unless we neutralize the terrorists completely our children will not remain safe. Capt. Joseph Kreidel DET-United States Central Command
Zahrah Nasir
Jun 13, 2012 11:28am
Agree 100% El Cid.
El Cid
Jun 13, 2012 10:07am
Massive tragedy is unfolding in Afghanistan. A level of atrocity rarely witnessed in history is being committed on the Afghan children, the women, and the the 21century! Had it been another land another people the Western World would scream “Holocaust, Holocaust...” Are these the children of a lesser god? Is there no respite for the Taliban Warrior. No Scimitar Blade to dull the NATO Sword? Where is the Muslim response? Where is Humanities? UN...?
Jun 14, 2012 08:19am
Without dwelling on what is right and what is wrong, one must take into account the psyche of the belligerent parties. Terrorism is the strength of the weak and the weakness of the strong. When a cat is cornered, it doesn't contemplate on the ramifications of its action--scratching the face of the attacker--for it doesn't has the luxury to opt for the better choice.The question is very simple: save your life; the answer simpler:do whatever it takes to live another day. So, our great Uncle Sam should rid itself of the "White man's burden", stop worrying about reforming the world, and better concentrate on the well being of its own people.Afghans, if left on their own, will sort out their issues their own way.And mind it Afghans include Taliban.