Increasing Civilian Casualties in Afghanistan

21 Apr

According to Human Rights Watch, the Taliban is increasingly targetting violence towards civilians in Afghanistan.

The 116 page report, , “The Human Cost: The Consequences of Insurgent Attacks in Afghanistan,” stated that almost 700 civilians had been killed by the Taliban and other insurgent groups. The former has been targeting certain groups of civilians, including “humanitarian aid workers, journalists, doctors, religious leaders, and civilian government employees, condemning them as spies or collaborators.”

The human rights group have also issued previous statements urging NATO forces and the US government to “take greater precautions to protect civilians and establish a program to compensate Afghans who have lost family members, are injured or suffer property damage due to their actions.”

Late october last year, more than 60 civilians were killed as a result of heavy fighting between NATO forces and insurgent forces in the Panjwai district of Kandahar province. NATO conducted test fire on October 24 in southern Kunar province, at a residential area, resulting in the death of one girl and injury of two other seven-year-old girls. Last July, in Helmand province, NATO aircraft fired upon a pickup truck and killed 13 members of a family, including nine children, who were trying to flee the fighting.

As violence continues to escalate, with the effects mostly on innocent civilians, Australia will increase its forces in Afghanistan to about 950 by middle this year and 1,000 in middle of 2008.






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