More civilians died in Afghanistan in August that at any time this year, according to a new United Nations report.
Between January and August, some 1,500 people died in Afghanistan. The U.N. did not specify how many people died during last month but attributed the rise in deaths to the nation’s controversial election, noting that violence could rise again when the final results are released.
"August (was) the deadliest month since the beginning of 2009," the report said. "These figures reflect an increasing trend in insecurity over recent months and in elections-related violence."
So far this month, 34 U.S. troops have been killed in Afghanistan, according to CNN figures compiled from military reports.
Nearly seven in 10 of the civilian deaths this year were the result of anti-government elements, according to the report. Pro-government forces accounted for almost one in four of the civilian deaths, the report said.
On Sept. 16, incumbent Hamid Karzai was deemed the winner of the Aug. 20 presidential election, with 54 percent of the vote. However, authorities are investigating allegations of voting fraud the vote tally won’t be certified until the audit is complete. More than 200,000 of the nearly 5.7 million votes cast have been thrown out because of these allegations.