Afghan Civilian Deaths Jump 25%

Insurgents blamed, but NATO will catch flak anyway
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Aug 10, 2010 6:14 AM CDT
Afghan Civilian Deaths Jump 25%
Air Force Capt. Denise Ross washes Rubina, a severely-wounded young Afghan IED victim, inside the ICU at Kandahar Regional Military Hospital, Sunday, Aug. 8, 2010.   (AP Photo/Brennan Linsley)

The number of civilians killed in Afghanistan rose 25% in the first six months of 2010, the United Nations said in a report today that blamed insurgents for the spike. There were fewer civilian casualties from NATO action—a result of Stanley McChrystal's crackdown—but NATO will likely face increasing public hostility anyway and the overall rise in deaths indicated that the war is getting ever-more violent.

The report found 1,271 Afghans died and 1,997 were injured—mostly from bombings—in the first six months of the year. There were 1,013 civilian deaths in the first six months of 2009. The UN said insurgents were responsible for 72% of the deaths, up from 58% last year. "If (insurgents) want to be part of a future Afghanistan, they cannot do so over the bodies of so many civilians," says the top UN envoy to Afghanistan. "One day, will you want to come to that table with thousands of Afghans, civilians, killed along the road?"
(Read more Afghanistan stories.)

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