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Posts Tagged ‘Helmand province’

By Heidi Vogt

Associated Press

KABUL – The Afghan human rights commission reported Wednesday that 28 civilians have been killed so far in NATO’s offensive on the Taliban stronghold of Marjah, and urged pro-government forces to take greater care in distinguishing between noncombatants and militants. (more…)

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By Kathy Gannon
Associated Press

LASHKAR GAH, Afghanistan – Taxis turned into ambulances ferry wounded civilians out of the combat zone in southern Afghanistan, but one man’s long trip to a hospital began with a two-hour wheelbarrow ride.

Mohammad’s legs were peppered with shrapnel when a bomb exploded nearby. His brother found him unconscious and lifted him into the only thing he could find, pushing him in the wheelbarrow before he flagged a taxi. (more…)

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By BBC News

At least seven people have been killed by a bomb left on a bicycle near a bus station in the southern Afghan city of Lashkar Gah, officials say.

A spokesman for the provincial governor of Helmand told the BBC seven people, all civilians, were killed and 14 hurt. (more…)

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By Golnar Motevalli

MARJAH, Afghanistan, Feb 19 (Reuters) – Whenever Afghanistan’s Taliban turn up the heat in the battle with U.S. Marines, the troops have to think twice before retaliating or calling in air strikes in order to avoid civilian casualties.

That caution is guiding a NATO and Afghan military offensive designed to break the Taliban’s grip on their last big stronghold, in Helmand province, without alienating the local population. (more…)

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Associated Press

By MICHAEL WEISSENSTEIN

KABUL — Fewer civilians were killed by airstrikes in Afghanistan last month even as U.S. and NATO forces pushed deep into Taliban territory, driving clashes and Western casualties sharply higher.

Western and Afghan officials say the drop appears to be an early indication of success for restrictions on air power imposed in July by Gen. Stanley McChrystal, the new commander of coalition forces, in an attempt to limit civilian casualties. The U.S. and NATO saw Afghan anger over the deaths as a major impediment to a new counterinsurgency strategy that makes winning over the population a higher priority than killing insurgents.

Six civilians died in airstrikes last month compared to 89 in July 2008, according to an Associated Press count of reports on civilian deaths by witnesses and Afghan officials. None of the reports was the subject of significant dispute by the U.S. and NATO. (more…)

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By Julian E. Barnes
July 26, 2009 Reporting from Kabul, Afghanistan — The U.S. and its allies must change their mission to focus on protecting the Afghan people — even if it means temporarily allowing the Taliban to operate relatively freely in sparsely populated areas, the top U.S. commander in Afghanistan said in an interview Saturday. (more…)

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By Aziz Ahmad Shafe, Mohammad Ilyas Dayee and Aziz Ahmad Tassal in Khanshin, Helmand province (ARR No. 326, 14-July-09)

It is all too rare a phenomenon lately: local residents cheerful at the sight of foreign troops. But Operation Khanjar (Dagger Thrust), which the United States Marines launched in early July in southern Helmand, has so far delivered on its promise to put protection of civilians ahead of killing the enemy. (more…)

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