The number of Afghan civilians killed or injured in escalating violence has risen to record levels in the first half of this year, the UN says, BBC
A new report says Afghanistan has recorded more than 1,600 civilian deaths so far in 2021. That's a 47% rise compared to this time last year.
And the UN warns that the number of deaths could rise still further.
Afghan government forces have been fighting Taliban insurgents, who now control large parts of the country.
Most international forces have now withdrawn after a mission lasting nearly 20 years.
Casualties in May and June rose to their highest for this period since the UN began recording the numbers in 2009.
According to the UN report, anti-government forces were responsible for 64% of civilian casualties. Pro-government forces accounted for 25%, and 11% are blamed on crossfire. Of all casualties, 32% were children.
Peace talks between the two sides are moving slowly. Deborah Lyons, the UN special envoy for Afghanistan, urged both sides to "take heed of the conflict's grim and chilling trajectory".
"The report provides a clear warning that unprecedented numbers of Afghan civilians will perish and be maimed this year if the increasing violence is not stemmed," she said in the UN release.