MOGADISHU, Nov. 15 : At least 613 civilians have been killed and 948 injured in Somalia since January this year, a senior United Nations (UN) official said Monday.

Volker Turk, the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, decried the sharp rise in civilian casualties in Somalia, due largely to attacks by the al-Shabab group which he said has exacerbated the already grim human rights and humanitarian situation for the people of Somalia.

“This year has brought an abrupt halt to a general decline in deaths and injuries documented since 2017. I am deeply concerned that more Somalis continue to lose their lives on a daily basis,” Turk said in a statement. According to the UN, most of the casualties have been due to improvised explosive devices, at least 94 percent of which were attributed to al-Shabab.

Other casualties have resulted from al-Shabab suicide bombings. Turk called on all parties to the conflict to uphold their obligations under international humanitarian law and ensure that civilians are protected. Enditem (Xinhua)

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