Tuesday, July 30, 2019


Afghan and US forces have killed more civilians in Afghanistan in the first half of 2019 than insurgents did, UN figures show. It comes after a report by the UN in April, which reached a similar conclusion for the first three months of 2019.

717 civilians were killed by Afghan and US forces, compared to 531 by the Taliban.

Air strikes, mostly carried out by American warplanes, killed 363 people, including 89 children, in the first six months of the year.

There were 3,812 deaths and injuries in the first six months of 2019.

According to the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (Unama),  the toll on civilians remains "shocking and unacceptable," Unama said. 

Patricia Gossman, associate Asia director at Human Rights Watch, said civilians were paying a "terrible price" as a result of air strikes and night raids that appeared meant to pressure the Taliban in negotiations. "Although US military officers in Kabul repeatedly claim to take civilian casualties seriously, they do not conduct adequate investigations to determine accurate numbers or understand targeting errors," she told the BBC, adding that Afghan government investigations were "even worse" 

"The usual claim - that the Taliban hide among civilians - is not an excuse for killing and injuring civilians in such numbers, and in any case is no excuse for what in some cases may amount to war crimes."

The US and the Taliban have been holding peace talks in the Gulf state of Qatar, but the American military is simultaneously carrying out an intense air campaign against the militant group. Fighting continues with daily violence around the country.


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