KABUL, Feb. 6 (Xinhua) -- The United Nations has called upon warring sides in Afghanistan to halt the killing and maiming of civilians as a total of 3,498 civilians were killed in violence across the country in 2016.

"The report documents 11,418 conflict-related civilian casualties, including 3,498 killed and 7,920 injured. Of these, 3,512 were children - 923 dead and 2,589 injured, up 24 percent on the previous highest recorded figure," the UN mission in Afghanistan said in a report released here Monday

The figures, recorded by the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), are the highest since the world body began systematically documenting civilian casualty figures in 2009.

Expressing concern over the increase in civilian casualties, Tadamichi Yamamoto, the UN secretary-general's special representative for Afghanistan, called upon warring sides to protect civilians in the conflict.

"All parties to the conflict must take immediate concrete measures to protect the ordinary Afghan men, women and children whose lives are being shattered," he said.