Tuesday, February 17, 2009
KABUL ‚Äď The number of Afghan civilians killed in armed conflict surged to a record 2,118 people last year as the Afghan war turned increasingly bloody, the U.N. said in a new report Tuesday.
Insurgents were responsible for 55 percent of the deaths, but U.S., NATO and Afghan forces killed 39 percent, the report said. Of those 829 deaths by the forces, 552 were blamed on airstrikes.
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Civilian deaths have been a huge source of friction between the U.S. and, who says such deaths undermine his government and the international mission.
The deaths rose 40 percent last year, and the numbers could grow as the United States plans to shift tens of thousands of soldiers to Afghanistan this year to take on the and other militants.
This article was posted: Tuesday, February 17, 2009 at 10:13 am