NEW YORK - The United Nations said Monday that for the fifth consecutive year, Afghanistan was the deadliest country on the planet for children. In its annual Children in Armed Conflict report, the U.N. secretary-general reported that more than 3,000 Afghan children were killed in 2019, and nearly as many maimed, overwhelmingly by ground fighting, improvised explosive devices and suicide attacks.
More than 1,200 casualties were attributed to the Taliban, while government and pro-government forces, including the Afghan National Army and the National Defense and Security Forces, were responsible for about a thousand. “Last year, it was very much impacted by elections and electoral violence,” Virginia Gamba, special representative of the secretary-general for children and armed conflict, said of Afghanistan at the report’s virtual launch.
Despite Afghanistan being the most dangerous, Gamba said there was still a decrease in casualties from 2018, due to measures put in place by the government and international military forces.
“There is also a peace process under way, and now there is a relative stability that we believe is going to lead to much more decreasing numbers,” she added. War-torn Syria and Yemen followed Afghanistan on the annual list.
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