Afghan Civilian Deaths Down, Assassinations Up Civilian deaths drop for the first time in 6 years By Evann Gastaldo, Newser Staff Posted Feb 19, 2013 3:00 AM CST 0 comments Comments Afghan security forces investigate the scene after two suicide attacks in Spin Boldak, Kandahar province, south of Kabul, Afghanistan, Sunday, Jan. 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Allauddin Khan) (Newser) – The UN's annual report on civilian casualties in Afghanistan is out, and it brings welcome news: civilian deaths are down, the first decline in six years. It's a byproduct of the war slowing down, but also reflects an effort to reduce civilian deaths, particularly at the hands of airstrikes. Findings, from the New York Times and Reuters: In 2012, the number of civilians killed was 2,754. That was down from 3,131 in 2011. But in that same time frame, the number injured rose from 4,507 to 4,805. The Taliban or other insurgent groups were responsible for about 81% of those casualties, a 9% increase from 2011. Another 8% of the casualties were caused by NATO, Afghan forces, and other pro-government forces, a drop of 46% from the year prior. The remaining casualties could not be attributed to either side. Main causes of the deaths were IEDs, which killed 868, and targeted killings, which resulted in 698 deaths—the latter is a 108% increase over 2011. More women and girls were killed or hurt in 2012, with 864 making the list, a 20% increase. More than 300 of those were deaths.