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

Turkey's Erdogan: Women Not Equal to Men

Speaking at conference in Istanbul, President Erdogan says Islam has defined a position for women: motherhood More

Ahead of SAARC Summit, Subdued Expectations

Some regional analysts say distrust between Pakistani, Indian officials has slowed SAARC's progress over the year More

Philippines Leery of Development on Reef Reclamation in S. China Sea

Chinese land reclamation projects in area have been ongoing for years, but new satellite imagery reportedly shows China’s massive construction project 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.
Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Changei
X
November 24, 2014 10:09 PM
Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Aung San Suu Kyi: Myanmar Opposition to Keep Pushing for Constitutional Change

Myanmar opposition leader Aung San Suu Kyi says she and her supporters will continue pushing to amend a constitutional clause that bars her from running for president next year. VOA's Than Lwin Htun reports from the capital Naypyitaw in this report narrated by Colin Lovett.
Video

Video Mali Attempts to Shut Down Ebola Transmission Chain

Senegal and Nigeria were able to stop small Ebola outbreaks by closely monitoring those who had contact with the sick person and quickly isolating anyone with symptoms. Mali is now scrambling to do the same. VOA’s Anne Look reports from Mali on what the country is doing to shut down the chain of transmission.
Video

Video Ukraine Marks Anniversary of Deadly 1930s Famine

During a commemoration for millions who died of starvation in Ukraine in the early 1930s, President Petro Poroshenko lashed out at Soviet-era totalitarianism for causing the deaths and accused today’s Russian-backed rebels in the east of using similar tactics. VOA’s Daniel Shearf reports from Kyiv.
Video

Video Hong Kong Protests at a Crossroads

New public opinion polls in Hong Kong indicate declining support for pro-democracy demonstrations after weeks of street protests. VOA’s Bill Ide in Guangzhou and Pros Laput in Hong Kong spoke with protesters and observers about whether demonstrators have been too aggressive in pushing for change.
Video

Video US Immigration Relief Imminent for Mixed-Status Families

Tens of thousands of undocumented immigrants in the Washington, D.C., area may benefit from a controversial presidential order announced this week. It's not a path to citizenship, as some activists hoped. But it will allow more immigrants who arrived as children or who have citizen children, to avoid deportation and work legally. VOA's Victoria Macchi talks with one young man who benefited from an earlier presidential order, and whose parents may now benefit after years of living in fear.
Video

Video New Skateboard Defies Gravity

A futuristic dream only a couple of decades ago, the hoverboard – a skateboard that floats above the ground - has finally been made possible. While still not ready for mass production, it promises to become a cool mode of transport... at least over some surfaces. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Falling Gas Prices Impact US Oil Extraction

With the price of oil now less than $80 a barrel, motorists throughout the United States are benefiting from gas prices below $3 a gallon. But as VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, the decreasing price of petroleum has a downside for the hydraulic fracturing industry in the United States.
Video

Video Tensions Build on Korean Peninsula Amid Military Drills

It has been another tense week on the Korean peninsula as Pyongyang threatened to again test nuclear weapons while the U.S. and South Korean forces held joint military exercises in a show of force. VOA’s Brian Padden reports from the Kunsan Air Base in South Korea.
Video

Video Mama Sarah Obama Honored at UN Women’s Entrepreneurship Day

President Barack Obama's step-grandmother is in the United States to raise money to build a $12 million school and hospital center in Kogelo, Kenya, the birthplace of the president's father, Barack Obama, Sr. She was honored for her decades of work to aid poor Kenyans at a Women's Entrepreneurship Day at the United Nations.
Video

Video Ebola Economic Toll Stirs W. Africa Food Security Concerns

The World Bank said Wednesday that it expects the economic impact of the Ebola outbreak on the sub-Saharan economy to cost somewhere betweenf $3 billion to $4 billion - well below a previously-outlined worst-case scenario of $32 billion. Some economists, however, paint a gloomier picture - warning that the disruption to regional markets and trading is considerable. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Chaos, Abuse Defy Solution in Libya

The political and security crisis in Libya is deepening, with competing governments and, according to Amnesty International, widespread human rights violations committed with impunity. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London.
Video

Video US Hosts Record 866,000 Foreign Students

Close to 900,000 international students are studying at American universities and colleges, more than ever before. About half of them come from Asia, mostly China. The United States hosts more foreign students than any other country in the world, and its foreign student population is steadily growing. Zlatica Hoke reports.

All About America

AppleAndroid