The AP tally showed that at least 822 Afghan civilians had been killed by the Taliban and other militants this year while another 119 died in NATO airstrikes and other operations. That was a decrease from last year, when 1,151 were killed by insurgents and 283 by NATO. Substantially smaller numbers perish when caught in crossfires.
The United Nations reported different casualty figures but also noted that civilian deaths had decreased, reversing a five-year trend of mounting civilian deaths. Its latest report says that during the first six months of the year, 1,145 civilians died in conflict-related violence, compared with 1,510 in the same period of 2011. The U.N. considers insurgent land mines and roadside bombs to be particularly deadly for civilians.
Close to 3,000 militants were reported to have been killed by coalition and Afghan forces this year, compared with more than 3,500 last year. The NATO command does not issue reports on the number of insurgents its troops have killed, and Afghan military figures, from which the AP compiles its data, cannot be independently verified.