Nearly 6,000 Afghan civilians were killed or wounded in the first nine months of the year as heavy fighting between government forces and Taliban insurgents rages on despite efforts to find peace, the United Nations said yesterday. From January to September, there were 5,939 civilian casualties in the fighting - 2,117 people killed and 3,822 wounded, the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA) said in a report. Civilian casualties were 30% lower than in the same period last year. The Taliban were responsible for 45% of civilian casualties while government troops caused 23%, it said. US-led international forces were responsible for 2%.