Kabul: Civilian deaths and injuries from the Afghan conflict remained at “record high levels” during the first half of this year, a new United Nations report has found. The report, released here Wednesday, said 1,592 civilians had been killed and 3,329 injured between January and June.

The casualty figures were slightly higher than the first half of last year and higher than any similar period since 2009, the U.N. report said. While about 70 percent of the deaths and injuries were caused by anti-government forces, mainly the Taliban, the report noted “with concern” that there had been a 60 percent increase in casualties caused by pro-government forces.

The report came after a period of especially aggressive and deadly attacks by Taliban fighters, both in their traditional southern strongholds such as Helmand Province and in new northern regions. Kunduz Province in the north, where the Taliban launched two offensives, saw the highest number of civilian casualties from ground combat of any province.

“Afghan civilians have suffered far too long from this destructive conflict. The devastating consequences of this violence against civilians as documented in this report should serve to strengthen the broad conviction that peace is urgently needed,” said Nicholas Haysom, head of the U.N. Assistance Mission in Afghanistan.

“Until peace is achieved, all parties to the conflict must fulfil their obligations under international humanitarian law to minimize the impact of the conflict on civilians and match their public statements on the protection of civilians with concrete actions,” said Haysom, who is also the U.N. Secretary-General’s Special Representative for Afghanistan.