Afghanistan: Civilian deaths hit ‘record levels’

The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan since the US-led invasion a decade ago hit record levels last year, according to a new report.

Some 2,421 civilians were killed, most at the hands of insurgents, the Kabul-based Afghanistan Rights Monitor said.

Foreign troops were to blame for about a fifth of all deaths – a slight fall on the previous year, the report says.

Correspondents say most officials are expecting at least the same level of violence, if not higher, this year.

‘Fear and intimidation’

As many as seven civilians were killed every day in Afghanistan last year, a record in the nine-year-old war, according to the Afghanistan Rights Monitor.

“Over 3,270 were injured in conflict-related security incidents across Afghanistan,” the report said.

Insurgents – the Taliban, the Haqqani group and others – are to blame for about 60% of the deaths, it said.

The report tallies with preliminary figures released by the UN last year.

When attacks are launched on government or international forces, Afghans are often caught in the crossfire, the BBC’s Quentin Sommerville in Kabul says.

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Categories: Afghanistan, United States

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