Subscribe free to our newsletters via your
. Military Space News .

Afghan civilian casualties down first time in 5 years: UN
by Staff Writers
Kabul (AFP) Aug 8, 2012

The number of Afghan civilian casualties has fallen for the first time in five years, dropping by 15 percent in the first half of 2012, the United Nations said Wednesday as a double suicide attack killed three US soldiers.

"This is the first time we have seen a sustained decline in civilian casualties which actually reverses a sustained five year trend of increasing of civilian casualties," UN human rights official James Rodehaver told AFP.

The United Nations said 1,145 Afghan non-combatants lost their lives, mostly in Taliban and other insurgent attacks, between January 1 and June 30 compared to 1,510 for the same period in 2011. Another 1,954 civilians were wounded, it added.

The UN mission in Afghanistan said that marked a 15 percent decline on the 3,654 casualties documented during the first six months of 2011.

Last year as a whole, a record 3,021 civilians died as part of the decade-long war between Taliban insurgents and the NATO-backed Kabul government, the United Nations has said.

The findings come as 130,000 US-led NATO troops prepare to withdraw the bulk of their combat troops from Afghanistan in the next 18 months.

The apparent decline in civilian casualties contrasts to an 11 percent increase in insurgent attacks reported by NATO in the last three months.

And as the Taliban increasingly target homegrown forces, Afghan troops die at five times the rate of NATO soldiers, according to the independent website

The United Nations said insurgents were responsible for 80 percent of the civilian casualties in 2012, while pro-government forces, which include NATO, were blamed for 10 percent. The remaining 10 percent was attributed to unknown groups.

It said there had been a 53 percent increase in targeted killings of civilians, picked out by insurgents because they work for the Afghan authorities or the military.

In the past, NATO air strikes have sparked huge controversy with President Hamid Karzai's government, but the UN report said civilian casualties from air strikes were down 23 percent compared to the same period in 2011.

Women and children accounted for about 30 percent of this year's casualties -- up one percent from the same period in 2011 -- killed or wounded mostly in Taliban roadside bombings with IEDs, the insurgents' weapon of choice.

The United Nations also highlighted concern about human rights abuses, mostly in the form of "parallel judicial structures" led by the Taliban and other insurgents that meted out punishments that include executions, amputations and lashings.

It said in areas of limited government authority, "anti-government elements" were able to "carry out serious human rights abuses with impunity".

On Wednesday, Afghan and Western officials said a double suicide attack killed three US soldiers in eastern Afghanistan.

The US-led International Security Assistance Force said three of its troops died in an "insurgent attack" in the east.

It did not disclose the nationalities of the soldiers, but Americans serve in Kunar, a flashpoint for Taliban and other Islamist militants on the Pakistani border.

A spokesman for the local government told AFP that three US soldiers died when two suicide attackers approached a group of American soldiers who were on their way from their base to the governor's office in the provincial capital Asad Abad.

"Our information shows that the two attackers approached the US soldiers on foot and detonated themselves one after another," said the spokesman, Wasefullah Wasefy.

A Western security official later confirmed that the dead soldiers were Americans.


Related Links
News From Across The Stans

Comment on this article via your Facebook, Yahoo, AOL, Hotmail login.

Share this article via these popular social media networks DiggDigg RedditReddit GoogleGoogle

Memory Foam Mattress Review
Newsletters :: SpaceDaily :: SpaceWar :: TerraDaily :: Energy Daily
XML Feeds :: Space News :: Earth News :: War News :: Solar Energy News

Iraqi Kurdistan resumes oil exports
Arbil, Iraq (AFP) Aug 7, 2012
Iraq's autonomous Kurdistan region resumed oil exports on Tuesday, a top Kurdish official said, after stopping them for more than four months during a row with Baghdad. Kurdistan halted its oil exports via the federal government on April 1 over $1.5 billion it said is owed to foreign oil companies working in the region, that Baghdad has allegedly withheld. "We started exporting oil at no ... read more

Israel boosts missile defense with Arrow-2

Rafael key to blocking Hezbollah missiles

U.S. Patriot deal to boost Kuwait defenses

US plans $4.2 bn Patriot missile sale to Kuwait

Iran says upgraded short-range missile test-fired

Raytheon awarded contract to produce new Rolling Airframe Missile

Raytheon Evolved SeaSparrow program delivers 2,000th missile

New Raytheon warhead lethal to enemy rockets

Israel sells Hermes UAVs in Latin America

Elbit Systems of America Showcases the Skylark I-LE Block II at AUVSI's Unmanned Systems North America 2012

US Marines to Keep K-Max in Theater for Second Deployment Extension

First East Coast Flight of X-47B Autonomous Unmanned Aircraft

NATO Special Forces Taps Mutualink for Global Cross Coalition Communications

Northrop Grumman Demonstrates Integrated Receiver Circuit Under DARPA Program

Boeing Receives 10th WGS Satellite Order from USAF

Lockheed Martin-built Military Communications Satellite Marks 20 Years in Service

British defense scientists make progress

SEWIP Electronic Attack Capability Demonstrated For US Navy At RimPac

Lockheed Martin, Raytheon Demonstrate SEWIP Electronic Attack Capability for US Navy at Rim of Pacific Exercise

New chemical sensor makes finding landmines and buried IEDs easier

Former Blackwater fined $7.5 mn over US arms case

Abidjan hosts flourishing trade in automatic weapons

Japan defence chief to meet US equal over Osprey

French defence spending spared cuts

Murder trial for wife of China's Bo Xilai opens

China leaders convene for key summer talks

China recognition needed in Asia-Pacific

Politics at heart of China murder trial

New structural information on functionalization of gold nanoparticles

Cutting the graphene cake

A giant step in a miniature world

A new era in modern analytical chemistry with Nano-FTIR

The content herein, unless otherwise known to be public domain, are Copyright 1995-2014 - Space Media Network. AFP, UPI and IANS news wire stories are copyright Agence France-Presse, United Press International and Indo-Asia News Service. ESA Portal Reports are copyright European Space Agency. All NASA sourced material is public domain. Additional copyrights may apply in whole or part to other bona fide parties. Advertising does not imply endorsement,agreement or approval of any opinions, statements or information provided by Space Media Network on any Web page published or hosted by Space Media Network. Privacy Statement