Rising violence ahead of Afghanistan's disputed presidential election made August the deadliest month of the year for civilians, the U.N. said, warning in a new report that attacks could spike again when the final vote results are announced.

 

A total of 1,500 civilians died in Afghanistan from January through August, according to the report released late Friday. About three-quarters of the deaths were blamed on militants. The U.N. report did not specify the August death toll, but said the month was the deadliest of the year as the Taliban stepped up an intimidation campaign to discourage Afghans from voting in the Aug. 20 election."