UN says slight drop in war deaths, but more women among them

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The United Nation reports a slight drop in the number of civilians dying in Afghanistan's protracted 16-year war during the first three months of this year, but in a surprising twist more women and children are among the dead and wounded than in previous casualty reports.

The report released Thursday blames the hike in casualties among women and children on aerial attacks, which jumped from 29 casualties in the first three months of 2016 to 148 in the same period this year. Casualties from unexploded ordnance which seemed to claim mostly children was also up slightly.

"It is civilians, with increasing numbers of women and children, who far too often bear the brunt of the conflict," Tadamichi Yamamoto, the Secretary-General's Special Representative for Afghanistan says in a release.