News / Asia

Afghan Group: 1,100 Civilians Killed in 1st Half of 2010

An Afghan human-rights group says in a new report that nearly 1,100 civilians were killed in Afghanistan in the first half of this year, an increase from the same period in 2009.  

Afghanistan Rights Monitor reports about six Afghan civilians were killed and eight others wounded each day in conflict-related incidents in the first half of this year.

The group's mid-year report says insurgents are responsible for more than 60 percent of the recorded civilian deaths.  The weapons of choice are Improvised Explosive Devices, which killed more civilians than any other war activity, followed by suicide attacks.

Officials with the international forces say from June 1 to July 10, insurgents killed 464 civilians, while NATO troops killed 42.   According to the Afghanistan Rights Monitor report, NATO troops killed more than 200 civilians in the past six months.

Ajmal Samadi is the director of Afghanistan Rights Monitor.  Speaking to VOA from Kabul, he praised the former top military commander in Afghanistan, U.S. General Stanley McChrystal, for creating restrictions on the use of NATO air strikes.

Samadi says these restrictions helped to reduce considerably the number of civilians killed by NATO forces.  But he says he is worried McChyrstal's recent replacement, U.S. General David Petraeus, might give in to reported troop complaints the rules of engagement are too restricting.

"We fear that if he does not show strong commitment to the protection of civilians, like General McChrystal did, then the situation could relapse to 2008 [and] 2007 when hundreds of people were killed by U.S. and NATO forces," he said.

Samadi also says his group fears some regional powers may interpret General Petraeus' appointment to Afghanistan and the arrival of thousands of additional U.S. and NATO troops as "a last push before exit," signifying that Afghanistan is up for grabs as NATO countries work to withdraw.

"As the United States talks about 'gradual withdrawal,' Iran and Pakistan are thinking of [a] gradual increase of their influence in Afghanistan.  So as long as you see the United States stepping back, Iran and Pakistan will be stepping forward," said Samadi.

Sunday in Kabul, the U.S. Senate's Armed Services Committee chairman, Carl Levin, praised Pakistan for tackling its domestic Taliban threat in the face of significant military casualties.  But he urged the country to do more to fight Afghan Taliban groups that launch attacks on NATO and Afghan forces from safe havens in Pakistan.

"They have not been consistent in my judgment in terms of who they have not gone after yet.  They have not gone after [the] Haqqani [network] in North Waziristan, and they have not really gone after the Taliban down in Quetta," said Levin.

Analysts say these groups are leading a strengthening insurgency in Afghanistan that killed more than 100 international troops last month.  

This was the highest number of NATO deaths since the start of the war nearly nine years ago.

Alongside these military losses, Afghanistan Rights Monitor's Ajmal Samadi says his group found the worsening security situation continues to disrupt essential services, such as health and education, for Afghan civilians.

You May Like

Taliban's New Leader Says Jihad Will Continue

Top US Afghan diplomat also meets with Pakistani, Afghan officials following news of Mullah Omar's death More

Video US Landmark Pushes Endangered Species

People gathered in streets, on rooftops in Manhattan to see image highlights that covered 33 floors of Empire State Building More

World’s Widest Suspension Bridge Being Built Over Bosphorus

Once built, Yavuz Sultan Selim Bridge will span 2 kilometers with about 1.5 kilometers over water, and will be longest suspension bridge in world carrying rail system More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs