The UN says 1,145 civilians were killed in the Afghan war in the first six months of this year, blaming 80 per cent of the deaths on fighters - more than half of those caused by roadside bombs.
Both developments come as the independent election commission officially announced April 5, 2014, as the date of the next presidential election in the Central Asian nation.
Fazel Ahmad Manawi, chief of the Independent Election Commission, said on Wednesday that provincial elections would take place on the same day.
Manawi, speaking in Kabul, said: "we are even prepared to pave the ground for the armed opposition, be it the Taliban or Hezb-e-Islami, to participate in the election, either as voters or candidates".
"There will be no discrimination," the IEC chief added.
In the case of no presidential candidate securing more than 50 per cent of the vote, a May 22, 2014, runoff will be implemented.
Read more at Al Jazeera, published 31 October 2012.