Posts Tagged ‘Afghan civilians’

January 13, 2010
By Emma Graham-Harrison KABUL
Western and government troops killed fewer civilians in Afghanistan in 2009 but far more died at the hands of insurgents, making it the deadliest year of the eight-year war, a U.N. report said on Wednesday. Civilian casualties, one of the most emotive issues of the war, rose 14 percent overall to more than 2,400, the Human Rights division of the U.N.’s Afghan mission said. (more…)

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DAHANEH, Afghanistan — The British jet called in by the U.S. Marines had the Taliban position in site, but the pilot refused to fire, a decision that frustrated Marines on the ground but one in line with new orders by the top U.S. commander to protect civilians.

The Marines themselves didn’t attack militants shooting at them Wednesday because women and children were in the compound, an approach meant to avoid civilian casualties at all costs.

“They did that on purpose,” sniper platoon leader 1st Lt. Joseph Cull, 28, of Delafield, Wisconsin, said of the Taliban. “They are trying to bait us.”

Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan, has made protecting Afghan civilians his top priority. The approach is a shift away from a military mindset whose traditional first response has been to kill as many militants as possible. By holding fire McChrystal hopes to avoid the massive civilian casualty cases of past months and years and help win over Afghan villagers. (more…)

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By Sean Rayment

Details obtained under the Freedom of Information Act reveal that between April 2006 to October 2008, the British government made 858 ex-gratia payment to Afghan civilians who either had family members killed or injured in fighting between the Taliban and British troops or whose property had been damaged.

A total of £90,000 has been paid to Afghans who have been injured or the families of those killed in fighting in Helmand. (more…)

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