News / USA

Rights Group Names 2010 Most Violent Year in Afghan War

A local rights group says 2010 has been the most violent in the nine-year Afghan war, with more than 1,000 civilians killed so far this year.

The Afghanistan Rights Monitor (ARM) said Monday the recent surge of U.S.-led NATO forces in Afghanistan was not discouraging the Taliban insurgency, but was instead "emboldening" militants who see the move as "the last push before exit."

In its report, ARM says more than 60 percent of the more than 1,000 civilians killed in the first half of this year died in insurgent attacks, particularly in roadside bombings.

The group says international forces were responsible for about 20 percent of civilian casualties, down from the same period last year.  ARM attributes the decrease to a reduction in NATO airstrikes, under a new policy of restraint issued last year by former U.S. and NATO forces commander General Stanley McChrystal.

ARM recorded up to 1,200 violent incidents in June, the highest in any single month since 2001.  Last month was also the deadliest for international forces in Afghanistan, with more than 100 NATO service members killed.

Some information for this report was provided by AP and AFP.

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