UNITED NATIONS - The number of civilians killed in the war in Afghanistan rose 40 per cent last year to a record 2,118 people, the UN said in a new report Tuesday. The report said Taliban were responsible for 55pc of the deaths, but that US, Nato and Afghan forces killed 829 civilians (39pc). Civilian deaths have been a source of friction between the US and President Hamid Karzai, who has increased demands that US and Nato troops avoid killing civilians during operations. The US and Afghan militaries this month announced plans to increase the number of Afghans who will take part in US operations, a step aimed at reducing deaths of ordinary Afghans. The UN's annual report on the protection of civilians noted that despite new battlefield rules meant to reduce civilian casualties, US, Nato and Afghan troops killed 31pc more civilians in 2008 than in 2007, when the UN said those forces killed 629 civilians. "As the conflict has intensified, it is taking an increasingly heavy toll on civilians," the UN said. The movement increasingly rely on roadside bombs, car bombs and suicide bombers, attacks that are "frequently undertaken regardless of the impact on civilians," the report said. But US, Nato and Afghan operations also have resulted in an increase in civilian casualties, "notwithstanding efforts to implement policies and procedures to minimise the impact of their operations on civilians," the report said. The UN report said the group was responsible for 55pc of civilian deaths last year (1,160). About 130 deaths couldn't be accounted for because of issues like crossfire. A US-based group that advocates for civilians in conflict said in a new report released Tuesday that "the lack of a clear, coordinated strategy to address civilian losses has been a leading source of anger and resentment towards military forces" in Afghanistan. "The international coalition in Afghanistan is losing public support, one fallen civilian at a time," CIVIC, or The Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict, said.