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article imageReport: Civilian deaths in Afghanistan reach record high in 2010

By Lynn Herrmann     Feb 1, 2011 in Politics
Kabul - A new report released on Tuesday shows violence in Afghanistan reached record levels in 2010 and as a result, had “catastrophic impacts” on the war-torn country that led to at least 2,421 civilian deaths for the year.
The report, The Civilian Human Cost of the War in 2010, released by the Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM), states that:

“From 1 January to 31 December 2010, at least 2,421 civilian Afghans were killed and over 3,270 were injured in conflict-related security incidents across Afghanistan. This means everyday 6-7 noncombatants were killed and 8-9 were wounded in the war.”
According to an ARM press release, Armed Opposition Groups (AOGs) were accused for 63 percent of the reported civilian deaths. US/NATO forces led to 21 percent of civilian deaths and Afghan forces (pro-government such as army, police and militias) were blamed for 12 percent of those civilian deaths and 4 percent of the deaths were labeled as “unknown.”
The major cause of these civilian deaths, according to ARM, were Improvised Explosive Devices (IEDs) which killed more than 690 civilians while wounding over 1,800 civilians. AOGs killed 406 civilians and suicide attacks killed 237 civilians.
The report comes on the heels of the latest SIGIR Report that lays out a bleak future for nearby Iraq as the US plans scale-back operations and suggests that without additional funding the country could easily slip into the hands of insurgents.
The ARM report is critical of US/NATO operations calling “almost every war casualty as being ‘suspected insurgent.’” In addition, it also criticizes AOGs for deliberate attacks on civilian communities.
US/NATO forces and the Afghan government use irregular armed groups ins certain battle areas of the country that are a concern for ARM. Cluster munitions and weapons stockpiles being used in the country by US/NATO forces are another concern in the report.
The report comes just weeks after Admiral Mike Mullen, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, warned that violence and bloodshed will be worse in 2011 than it was last year. “As difficult as it may be to accept, we must prepare ourselves for more violence and more casualties in coming months,” Mullen said, Agence France Presse reported.
ARM’s report noted that peace cannot be achieved on the battlefield in Afghanistan and must be won in “political corridors” and has provided a series of recommendations to reduce the casualties of war on the country’s citizens.
More about Afghanistan rights monitor, Civilian casualties, Record high
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