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The number of children killed and wounded in Afghanistan’s war jumped by 34 percent last year as the Taliban stepped up attacks across the country and continued to lay thousands of roadside bombs, the United Nations said Saturday. Overall civilian casualties were up by 14 percent, reversing 2012′s downward trend and making 2013 one of the deadliest years of the 12-year war for civilians. The rising civilian toll underscores mounting levels of violence in Afghanistan. Taliban insurgents have ramped up attacks to try to gain ground and shake the Afghan government’s confidence as international combat troops prepare to complete their withdrawal at the end of the year.

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