#1039 for broadcast on 2CH Sydney, 22 Feb 2015
One of the many tragedies of war is the death and injury of civilians caught up in the conflict. In Afghanistan, last year was the deadliest since the United Nations began keeping records in 2009.
A UN report issued on Wednesday offers a rare insight into the toll the war is taking on Afghans. Civilian casualties were up 22 percent from the previous year. There were an estimated 3,699 civilian deaths in 2014, bringing the total civilian death toll since the war began in 2001 to almost 18,000.
Children were hardest hit, with 714 killed and 1,760 injured, an increase of 40 per cent on 2013. Casualties caused by roadside bombs, suicide attackers and improvised explosive devices soared to record levels, and there was an eight per cent increase in people displaced by the conflict.
With all people of goodwill, we look forward to a day when peace reigns supreme, and “swords are beaten into ploughshares,” and the innocent no longer suffer.
I’m Rod Benson for the NSW Council of Churches.