Nato rejects UN report on death of Afghan children

Dawn: KABUL: The US-led international coalition on Friday rejected a UN rights group’s concern about reports that US military strikes have killed hundreds of children in Afghanistan during the past four years, saying they are ”categorically unfounded”.    

The statement by the International Security Assistance Force came a day after the Geneva-based UN Committee on the Rights of the Child said the casualties were ”due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force”.

The coalition also dismissed that claim, saying that it takes special care to avoid civilian casualties.

The coalition said the number of children who died or were wounded from air operations dropped by nearly 40 per cent in 2012 compared with the year before, although it did not give specific figures.

The UN was reviewing a range of US policies affecting children for the first time since 2008. The release of the report coincides with an intensifying debate in Washington over US policy on drone targeting and airstrikes.

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