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February 08, 2013

US Military Denies its Attacks Killed Hundreds of Afghan Children

by VOA News

The U.S. military on Friday rejected claims made by a United Nations committee that hundreds of children have been killed by U.S. attacks and airstrikes in Afghanistan in the past five years.

The Geneva-based U.N. Committee on the Rights of the Child said the children's deaths were "due notably to reported lack of precautionary measures and indiscriminate use of force." It called on the U.S. to take "concrete and firm precautionary measures and prevent indiscriminate use of force" to ensure that no more civilians and children are killed.

The headquarters of the U.S. forces in Afghanistan (USFOR Afghanistan) said in a statement Friday that the U.N. committee's concerns are "categorically unfounded."

It said that the International Security Assistance Force, or ISAF, of which U.S. troops are the majority, reduced civilian casualties in Afghanistan by half in 2012 compared with 2011, and that the number of children who died or were wounded as the result of U.S. air operations dropped by nearly 40 percent last year.

The U.S. military also noted that, according to ISAF, 84 percent of all Afghan civilians killed and wounded in 2012 were victims of insurgent attacks.